By Billy Corriher
Danny Hayes, a counselor at North Clayton High School, has kicked off his campaign for Clayton County Commissioner Virginia Gray's seat.
Though he just formally kicked off his campaign last week, Hayes said he has been talking to residents about their concerns, even distributing surveys to some.
"Most of the concerns are dealing with zoning," Hayes said, adding that many residents in the Riverdale/College Park area mentioned issues with the county's animal control department and a new construction debris landfill.
Hayes said that with issues like the landfill and new developments, residents need to be better informed.
"(Residents) are looking for someone to keep them updated on what the county's doing," he said. "If we're informed, that empowers us to let our voices be heard."
Hayes said that holding town hall meetings and developing more advisory committees would help keep residents informed.
Hayes said many residents are also worried about overcrowding in schools.
"We can not build schools fast enough to keep up with development," he said. "Why can't we slow down and figure out what kind of vision the community has for development?"
After hearing about residents' concerns about high-density development, Hayes said he plans to pass out fliers and encourage more citizens to get involved and voice their concerns at the commissioners' meetings.
"I'm not waiting to get into the commissioner's seat to start working in the community," he said.
Hayes said he also supports improving the school system, consolidating the county's law enforcement agencies and getting more recreational facilities.
Although he has never held public office, Hayes said he has been president of his local homeowners' association and has served on an advisory committee to the school board for two years. Hayes is the owner of Attractive Bodies Health and Fitness Club in College Park.