Saturday, October 15, 2016

Scenes from the second candidate forum

I do wish that someone had let the city council candidates from Watkinsville in on these forums, but maybe next time.

Both organizations are to be credited with excellent presentations and the community service of presenting the candidates. I would have preferred to have audience members asking questions at both events, like "What are you going to vote on Sunday sales?"

Ben Bridges can project his voice the best into a microphone, as he has been getting great practice with his booming vocals as the voice of the Warriors for all these years.

Chuck Horton (from a decade at UGA police, BOC and BOE) certainly has the edge in terms of being well understood in the words he uses, the manner with which he speaks, and how he comes across effectively. I do think his microphone was either shut off or turned down at the last event, or perhaps he projects his voice to the room instead of toward the amplifying device.

Marcus Wiedower knows how to work a room very, very well. He will be a great asset to this county someday soon.

It would not surprise me one bit to see this race result on a three way tie for first at 33% each. That is more than likely not going to happen, but I predict the run-off will see Horton and Wiedower both with the 38-40% range, and Bridges coming up just short in the 20% to 24% range. I expect turn out to be super high with the Presidential election, that hotly contested Post 5 slot on the City Council and Sunday sales referenda among other motivations.

I would be happy with any of these fine gentleman as my next Board of Commissioners member, but I am voting for Chuck Horton, not because I coached his son in basketball, not because I have known and worked with him for more than 20 years, and not because I have disagreed with him on several issues over the years, but because experience does matter, as has been the new placards above the Horton campaign signs as of late.

It will be interesting to gauge the amount of support or votes received by Ben Bridges as kind of the backbone of the county as far as old school residents are concerning. Equally compelling will be attempts to gauge the Wiedower support as a measure of the developer strength in this county. Political calculus is seldom black and white or as stark as that, but I am always a demographic nerd when it comes to voting totals.

It was nice to see a good handful of University of North Georgia students on the new building attending the candidate forum. I would be curious as to the amount of students who attend there who actually live in Oconee County.

I would guess the number has increased as the amount of enrollment has exploded over the last decade.

I would hope whoever wins the BOC slot will work with the people at UNG to help with the campus growing pains here in Oconee County.

I hope voters in Oconee County elect Chuck Horton, but I also remain confident whoever wins will do the best they can to Oconee County the great place that it is today.

Thanks to my old political science professor Dr. Charles Bullock for emceeing the event the other evening, and many thanks to Lee Becker and all his cohorts for continuing the make Oconee County such a wonderful place to live.

Sometimes it does seem like the same 150 to 200 people come out to all these events, but even if one voter changes their mind because of something that they have heard, then it is worth all the hassle.

I wish to thank Ben Bridges, Marcus Wiedower, and Chuck Horton for taking the time and trouble for running for Board of Commissioners.

Politics is an unwelcome necessary evil in how we decide who represents us in our decision making process called government.
I think Chuck Horton will do the best for all of us.

But you are welcome to vote for whoever you want to.

Just be sure to vote.

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