We generally don’t endorse candidates or issues, unless we believe there is a compelling reason to vote either for or against something on the ballot. With that, we offer our wholehearted support for two candidates and two ballot issues.
State Reps. Jon Burns and Ann Purcell are deserving of our and the community’s support. Though their constituent base is vast — Burns’ district covers parts of Bulloch, Burke, Jenkins and Screven counties as well, and Purcell’s district takes in west Chatham County — they have capably and tirelessly served the people of Effingham County.
Few people under the Gold Dome and in Atlanta period are as knowledgeable about transportation issues as Burns, the former state transportation board member. Purcell too is well-versed in transportation and her reputation as a determined advocate for any concern she’s pushing has made her a valuable and enviable asset.
Even if they were not from Effingham, they would merit return to the Capitol. They also work tirelessly on behalf of their entire district and have been accessible and available to their constituents.
As citizens, we often wonder what our state lawmakers are up to. Such questions don’t get asked of Mr. Burns or Mrs. Purcell. Their reputation as hard-working and dedicated legislators is known throughout the Capitol and the Coastal Empire.
We don’t know enough about their opponents to even ponder how effective they would be as lawmakers. Liz Johnston has made a few appearances at Effingham events but Rep. Purcell’s foe, Tawana “T” Garrett, has made none to our knowledge. Regardless, the work Reps. Burns and Purcell have done and their attention to the issues of their constituents is worthy of another term for each.
Effingham voters also will get the opportunity to vote for a renewal of the special local option sales and the E-SPLOST. There has been much discussion of taxes in the county. The sales tax, an additional penny per dollar at the cash register for many sales, spreads its burden — the more you buy and the more you spend, the more your sales tax will be.
The county’s needs are still great, particularly when it comes to roads. SPLOST proceeds are used for capital expenses, such as new roads, new equipment and buildings. It goes to buy equipment and vehicles for the fire departments and law enforcement agencies.
It also will be used to build a much-needed new sheriff’s administrative complex and jail.
The E-SPLOST, the school board’s version of the one-cent tax, also needs renewal. With it, the school system can buy new buses, new computers and other much-needed items for our schools and students, including new textbooks. Without the sales tax proceeds, those items would have to be paid for out of budgets that are stretched tight.
We ask for the voters’ support of both SPLOST measures and for their support of Jon Burns and Ann Purcell.