0

Clayton election: BOC, District 3

Wole Ralph (I)

County Commission Vice-Chairman Wole Ralph, 34, has represented District 3 on the Commission since 2005. He is running for re-election because he is “committed to seeing Clayton County be a place our citizens are proud to call home, and after serving almost two terms as the District 3 commissioner, the experience and knowledge I bring makes me uniquely qualified to continue leading Clayton forward.”

What do you think the Clayton County Board of Commissioners should do to improve its relationship with the city governments?

“Unlike the mayors or city councilpersons, my role as a county commissioner is to represent the interests of all of the people of Clayton County. The process for resolving issues related to the service delivery agreement is described in and guided by state law. The presence of lawyers in the process is not an indicator of problems in the relationships we have with the cities. It more rightly reflects the technical nature of the process and the need to make sure we comply with the law.”

How do you feel the county government can be more transparent and inclusive with the public?

“I do not see any relationship between the two. Very seldom do the people who address the Board reference issues which have been discussed during the meeting. By having it [public comment in commission meetings] at the end, we provide more time and opportunity for the citizens to address their concerns to the Board. I am proud of the fact that our county has been recognized for having one of the most transparent websites.”

Do you feel there is wasteful spending in the county's budget? Please explain.

“What some may consider wasteful, others see as essential. Two-thirds of the general fund budget is spent on services mandated by the state. That leaves a relatively small amount of money for recreation, senior services, libraries and other general government functions. Frankly, I don’t see expenditures in these areas as ‘wasteful.’ I believe that expenditures in these non-essential areas are necessary to attract people to this county [to] grow our tax base. I am proud of our financial stewardship during what has been difficult economic times.”

Shana M. Rooks

Shana Rooks, 37, is an attorney who has lived in Clayton County for 12 years. She said she is running for the the Commission District 3 seat to “restore integrity and pride back to our county.”

What do you think the Clayton County Board of Commissioners should do to improve its relationship with the city governments?

“The Service Delivery Strategy process gives local governments and authorities the opportunity to reach agreements on the delivery of services in an effective and cost-efficient manner. It is supposed to reduce duplicative services particularly to the municipalities who naturally would be eligible for county resources as well. There must be open communication with the municipalities about their need for the public services so as not to duplicate services. It appears there is not sufficient communication by the majority of the board with the municipalities and that will only change when the make-up of the board has changed.”

How do you feel the county government can be more transparent and inclusive with the public?

“Given the age of technology, there is no reason why we shouldn’t televise the commission meetings. Citizens should be able to stream the meetings from their computers as well. Furthermore, the budget should be made available on line prior to the vote on the budget. To require citizens to go to the public library to view the budget that is 207 pages in length is unreasonable. Commission must allow the citizens to raise any objection to “proposed” resolutions prior to a vote on the same. The Commission cannot make its decisions in a vacuum and many times, it seems the decisions are made in that form.”

Do you feel there is wasteful spending in the county’s budget? Please explain.

“In the past, Commissioners have taken trips to Hawaii, Amsterdam and New York and various other locations without a clear purpose that directly benefits the county while public safety has been cut every year for the past three years. The budget lists $3,433,750 for professional services without outlining what those services are to be for FY 2013.”

Ronald Ringer

Ronald Ringer, 56, is an airline employee who has lived in Clayton County all of his life. He said he is running for the Commission District 3 seat “to serve the people with integrity and bring change to Clayton County.”

What do you think the Clayton County Board of Commissioners should do to improve its relationship with the city governments?

No response.

How do you feel the county government can be more transparent and inclusive with the public?

No response.

Do you feel there is wasteful spending in the county’s budget? Please explain.

No response.