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Kieffer to run for 5th District seat
Effingham County businessman Phil Kieffer announced he will run for the county commission 5th District seat. The seat is currently held by Verna Phillips. - photo by Photo by Rick Lott

Phil Kieffer announced his plans Wednesday to run for the Effingham County Commission 5th District seat in front of a group of family and supporters at Rincon’s Macomber Ballpark.

Kieffer told supporters, “I run a business here in the community – Kieffer Construction.

“I think it’s time for some leadership to step up,” he said

Kieffer, a local businessman, outlined his three main reasons for running for the seat. His chief topic is taxes.

“I know we all had to pay the bill,” he said, “but I think the burden is too much on the taxpayers and we’ve got to step up. As far as the county spending, it’s got to get under control. I know spending’s necessary if it’s invested in the future or benefiting all the citizens, and there’s certainly more we can do.”

Kieffer also said the county needs to promote commercial and industrial growth for the tax revenues it generates, for jobs and for services for the citizens.

“They’re crying for it,” he said. “They want it. The sales tax dollars in themselves will help replace the burden of property taxes for every taxpayer.”

Kieffer also wants to address transportation and traffic issues.

“Not only is it necessary for everyday traffic to come to and from Savannah every morning and every afternoon,” he said, “but if we’re going to have commercial and industrial growth, the goods have to come in and go out. Too often our local officials go to Atlanta — I’ve been there, I’ve seen it happen — they take no for an answer. And it’s time to step up and demand and fight to work with our elected officials in Atlanta. We’ve got a great bunch of local officials that are in Atlanta serving and they’re willing to work, so now’s the time to work with them. It’s all about the future.”

Kieffer also remarked that there is a culture at the county government level that sees business as a “bad guy.” He said the typical governmental attitude seems to be that if a business is coming into the county, they should pay up front for the privilege. He believes they don’t think about the tax dollars and jobs that are generated. 

He also felt strongly that the county should do everything it can to bring more of the types of businesses and services that people in Effingham currently have to travel to Chatham County to enjoy, such as restaurants, movie theatres, bowling alleys and higher-end department stores.

Kieffer is the owner and president of Phillip Kieffer Construction, Inc., a commercial construction firm headquartered in Rincon. He is married to Brandi Kieffer and they have two boys, Bryan and Newton, ages 6 and 3, respectively. 

He is a graduate of Effingham County High School and from Georgia Southern University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in business management. Kieffer serves on the board of directors for the Georgia Salzburger Society and as an advisory board member for the Savannah Technical College-Effingham Campus and is Effingham County Ordinance Advisory Committee member. 

Kieffer will be a candidate in the Republican primary, set for July 20.