By Billy Corriher
With state Rep. Victor Hill, D-College Park, vacating his seat to run for Clayton County Sheriff, Northcutt Elementary Principal George Jeburk has announced his plans to run for Hill's seat.
Jeburk, who received 16 percent of the votes in the Aug. 20, 2002 primary election for Hill's seat, said he wants to run because he feels that he can represent Clayton County's interests and be a "child advocate" for his constituents.
Jeburk said he has been talking to citizens about what their concerns are.
"Most of the people that I've encountered are looking for representatives to keep the HOPE Scholarship in tact," he said. "People are also very excited about a 2 percent pay raise for teachers, but they're very concerned about (budget) cuts."
Jeburk said that, being a school administrator, he can provide a unique perspective on education issues and has access to information most people don't see.
Jeburk said many residents in the northern part of the county have mentioned concerns about Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, including the construction of the fifth runway and its impacts on the surrounding neighborhoods.
Though state representatives might not be able to influence the airport directly, Jeburk said he would convey citizens' concerns to people who can influence the airport.
"The key to that will be to have an effective voice," he said, adding that it is very important for representatives to be accessible.
"I want to run a campaign on the issues, keeping the will of the people at the heart of my organization," Jeburk said. "My ideas are important, but you need to know what the people want."
Jeburk said the county is well represented by its current delegates, and he wants to keep it that way.
"I think we have a very good Clayton County delegation, and there's an opportunity for me to come on board and be a team player," he said. "I'd like to be part of that team."