It is election time in Effingham County — there are two important contested races on the July 15 primary. It is the opportunity for citizens to exercise one of their most important freedoms as an American — to vote for the candidate of their choice.
I don’t know how much any of you care about the opinion of this senior citizen but if you will give me a few minutes I’ll tell you. First I need to remind you that I have been a citizen of Effingham County for over 50 years. And during this time I have not been hiding under a rock but have been actively involved in the community from many angles, so I do have a little knowledge of the political world in Effingham.
My choice for tax commissioner is Linda McDaniel. Why Linda? Because I have known Linda in her work place and in the community. Her qualifications: over 20 years in the area of customer service in the schools, in the DA’s office and the Chamber of Commerce. She understands the need to help the customers (i.e. taxpayers) conduct their business in a quick and efficient manner.
She has financial background in her 10 years as the accounting person for the Chamber of Commerce and the development authorities. The accounting with the development authorities included managing the books on significant bond issues and loans.
Linda is known for organizational skills and the ability to supervise group activities, whether it be an office staff or a group of volunteers for specific activities. She is a native of the county, she knows the county and its citizens.
Further, she has a commitment from a former employee of the tax office who served in supervisory role to come in and give any help and guidance she may need as she begins her term.
Why not Frank Arden? I see he lists six different financial institutions he has worked for — he is now only 54 years old, he seems to have moved around a lot.
Further, it is no secret that Mr. Arden has been an active leader and spokesperson for the NO organization, an organization that over the past six to eight years has been against any progressive move in the county. He disavows that relationship now but….
Why not the incumbent, Lisa Wright? It is commonly known in the community that she rarely spends time in the office. If you want to talk to her you may be able to get her on the phone at home, but there is no published phone number listed in the directory. She said that she is attending meetings and training, etc. — everyday, all four years long.
It is publicly known that the staff is not happy with the situation. And who is getting paid to do the job, the one who is never there and who, as taxpayers, we pay a salary of over $70,000 a year.
So, yes, my choice is Linda McDaniel for tax commissioner. I know her work ethic and she has commitment to her job, she has worked for the chamber for 14 years. I ask you to join me in voting for her on July 15.
And now about the sheriff. My choice is our current sheriff, Jimmy McDuffie. Jimmy has served this county well for six years. He is a hands-on sheriff, we see him out doing his job and we appreciate it. The task of sheriff must go beyond the responsibility of training officers and putting them out to do the job. Jimmy’s willingness to get out and “get his hands dirty” with the rest of his department says a lot about his commitment to assuring the best safety for all of Effingham’s citizens.
Mr. Gossett’s idea for a precinct in south Effingham is an idea before its time. The cost of establishing such a stand-alone precinct has to be cost prohibitive to make available the services that would be necessary to serve the citizens.
No, Mr. Gossett, electing the sheriff isn’t about voting for friends, just because they are a friend, but it is nice to know that you have a sheriff that you can call anytime day or night and you have to look not further than the directory to have his number.
One of the points that Jimmy makes in his statements about the responsibility of managing the sheriff’s office is “I have got to be mindful of the fact that the funds for the office is taxpayer’s money. While it would be nice to have more money I must remember where that money comes from, the taxpayer.”
Rick Gossett’s resume looks good on high educational requirements, but I don’t believe that we are looking for a sheriff with degrees that will sit in the office and administer.
As I said in the beginning, I don’t know how much any of you care about my opinion; I just ask you consider some of the points above when you go to vote in July 15 primary. The main thing is that it is important that you vote.