Second-round commission candidates discuss Habersham’s platforms and goals
The run-off election between Habersham County Commissioner hopefuls Ty Akins and Jason Hogan begins today, and the two candidates sat down with Now Habersham to share a deeper look at their campaigns and hopes for the county.
Akins received 48% of the vote against 24% for Hogan in the November 2 special election, but due to not receiving more than half of the vote in an election between four candidates, the election s’ took place in the second round.
The second-round winner will join the Habersham County commission as District 5 commissioner, succeeding Tim Stamey who resigned from the commission earlier this year for health reasons.
Ty Akins is a business owner in Habersham County and sits on the Habersham County Development Authority and the Habersham, Banks and Rabun Joint Development Authority. He believes his knowledge of development, business and budgeting make him the best candidate for the seat of District 5 commissioner.
Akins’ main goals in his campaign are business opportunities and communication with the citizens of Habersham. He says it is important to know the needs of citizens, especially when it comes to development. He referred to the development and annexation that has taken place in the county, primarily in Baldwin, which has blinded many residents and left them frustrated.
“You’re not going to make everyone happy, but I think they [citizens] so is the ability to speak, listen and be heard, âAkins says. “Nobody likes things forced on them, it’s just not respectful of the people you live with.”
He says his hope as commissioner would be to continue to educate the public about the discussions taking place at the county level, as well as to ensure that citizens have a chance to voice their thoughts.
âPeople are busy and don’t always have the opportunity to attend every planning meeting and every zoning meeting, so I think what Bruce Palmer started with City Hall is a great opportunity,â said Akins. “It’s an opportunity to get feedback from the community and also to tell them what’s going on.”
Akins says that while he doesn’t plan to put in place any new programs or events to make sure the community and the county governing body are working together and listening, he says he’s available to hear concerns. citizens.
“[Thatâs] the very nature of my job and what I have chosen to get involved in over the years, âhe says. “I see people throughout my day anyway, and I have an open door right here in downtown Clarkesville.”
Akins hopes to further develop business in the county. He says it should be easy for businesses to come to Habersham to take some of the county and state tax burden off homeowners.
“We need it [development]”Akins says.” Our tax base is heavily residential, and we want that burden placed more on businesses. As a business owner, I don’t say this lightly.
He says business development isn’t just important for tax purposes, however. From his own experience, he knows how important it is that families stay together and that children who grew up in the community of Habersham should be given the opportunity to stay in the county.
âMy son graduated from high school here and has a job here in Habersham, and he’s looking for a house,â Akins says. âI think that’s what a lot of people want. . . if you have a good relationship with your children and want them to be educated and have an opportunity here and stay close to their family,. . . you should have this opportunity.
Hogan works daily with government authorities as part of his work in the Rabun County School System, where he works as the Director of Maintenance and Facilities. He is no stranger to water and sewage infrastructure, which he works with on a daily basis, and is also experienced when it comes to using public funds and working with the county school board. to run the schools in Rabun.
âOne of my biggest things is trying to build a good relationship between the city, the county and the board of education,â Hogan said. âWe’re all divided by districts, but we have a big line around Habersham County. If we can work together, we can accomplish a lot more.
Hogan’s main goal in his campaign is to work with all entities in the county to create a development plan. He hopes to bring everyone together to discuss zoning, infrastructure, roads, school capacity and the needs of each city to create a plan that will support development, instead of having to solve the problems created by development.
âIf we would take a map and figure out where all the water is, where all the sewers are, what all the capabilities are – to my knowledge, no one has ever done that,â Hogan said. “How can you start anything if you don’t know where is what you need to work with?” “
He says one of the county’s biggest development needs is for the hospital.
âWhat I’ve heard in the last 20 years of my life is ‘don’t go to Habersham, they will let you die’, and I don’t like to hear that,â he said. “He’s a huge employer, it’s a huge advantage for the county.”
It is important for Hogan to bring more medical care to the county. He believes that helping Habersham Medical Center expand its resources, as well as bringing more specialists to the area so citizens can get medical care in their county instead of going to Gainesville, Athens and Atlanta, will help the county and its citizens.
He says it would not only keep people in need of medical attention in Habersham, it would create jobs in the county for healthcare workers, help the county maintain control of the hospital and bring more business. in the county, both on the part of the people receiving medical care in Habersham and the health care workers spending more time and money in the county.
âAm I the best candidate? I don’t know, âHogan says. “It will be left to the voters, but I will not disappoint [them] if I am elected.
Go out and vote
The two candidate commissioners are encouraging the citizens of Habersham to come out and vote, even if they did not vote in the special election on November 2.
âIt’s a right, over the years people haven’t had the right to vote, so exercise that right,â Hogan said. âI’ve always heard people complain ‘oh I can’t stand this president’ or ‘I can’t stand this governor’, usually the first thing I ask them is’ did you vote? and surprisingly, a lot of them say no, and then i say “then you have no right to complain”.
Advance polling begins today, Wednesday, November 17, and continues until the 19th, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Voting on Saturday will take place on November 20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and advance polling will begin on Monday, November 22 and will continue until November 24. 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
RELATED: Early Voting Begins in Second Round of County Committee Elections
âI encourage anyone to come out and vote again,â Akins said. âTuesday the 30th is election day, and I have been encouraged by people who have told me about it and said they would be sure to go and vote again, and I look forward to serving the county in a another way.”
Election day for the second round is November 30.