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King throws hat in ring for at-large chairman
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A former Effingham County commission chairman wants a shot at the seat again.

Phillip King, who previously served for eight years on the county commission, said he is “definitely” running for the office.

King was first elected to the county commission in 1992 and was chairman for four years. During that time, the chairman was elected by the commissioners. County voters elected the first popularly-chosen county commission chairman, Dusty Zeigler, in 2008.

King has served on several community boards since leaving the commission.

“And seeing the way the county’s going, the prospect of things changing, I’d like to be a part of helping it change in the right direction,” he said.

King also served for more than a year on the Guyton City Council, being appointed to a seat on that board, and also served on the Rincon City Council.

“I’d like to see all the municipalities, the different governing authorities, the board of commissioners all working together as one,” he said. “We need to work together for the betterment of all the citizens.”King assessed his tenure as commission chairman as a good experience.

“I enjoyed it,” he said. “Not everything turned the way you wanted it to turn, but that’s part of the political arena. If everybody agrees on everything, there’s usually something wrong. We need to make sure we’ve got a good balance of folks to dissect whatever problem they’re looking at to make sure we’re doing the right thing. Sometimes it takes people to disagree to get to the meat of things.”

Having served on two different city councils and on the county commission, King believes, benefits him.

“I think the best thing about having served on the Rincon and Guyton city councils, it gives me a better understanding of the needs of the municipalities and the needs of the county,” he said, “and try to bring all those entities together. I think those are important factors in trying to work together and trying to understand each other.

“I feel like I have the experience. Do I have all the knowledge? I wouldn’t say that. But I’m willing to learn.”

Qualifying for countywide offices begins May 23 at 9 a.m. and ends May 25 at noon. The county’s legislative delegation has announced it will introduce legislation modifying the duties of the chairman. At a November forum on the position, critics of the at-large chairman post asked to have the position’s responsibilities changed and others asked to have it abolished.

The proposed legislation may include allowing the chairman to count toward a quorum

“I think it’s obvious the chairman should create a quorum,” said Commissioner Steve Mason, who has been vocal in his desire to see the chairman’s role changed.

King said he will reveal more of his campaign platform later but did outline the reasons why he was running for countywide office again.

“My obligation is to the young people in the county, their education, their safety and their health,” he said. “Those are the most important factors.”