Strickland to run for tax office

COVINGTON - Doris Strickland has announced her bid for Newton County tax commissioner in the 2008 General Election.

Strickland, who is running as a Republican, is a 40-year resident of the county and the director of Covington-Newton County United Way.

She said she's wanted to run for the position for a long time but does not have a platform to push.

"I just feel like there are some changes that need to be made. I'm not going to stand and say, 'I will do this and that.' I don't know what I can do until I get into office," she said.

But, one thing that Strickland does promise if elected is good customer service, saying "service with a smile," is her primary goal.

"It's bad enough when you have to pay taxes or buy a tag. If they walk out with a smile on their face, then the ladies and gentlemen in there have accomplished a great deal. That's what I'd like to see - everybody walk out with a smile on their face."

Strickland said her 23 years at the helm of United Way, along with nine years as an administrative assistant for the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce, has given her plenty of experience working with the public.

"I'm familiar with the people in Newton County, familiar with what they want," she said.

Strickland also worked for the state of Georgia for 14 years, first for the state Department of Human Resources and then the Department of Corrections, and said that experience familiarized her with state budgets and audits, knowledge she said will be useful if she is elected.

Strickland, 62, was born in North Georgia and graduated from LaGrange High School. She went on to receive an associate's degree in business administration from Massey Business College in Atlanta.

She moved to Covington in 1968. She is a member of Eastridge Community Church, the Covington Kiwanis Club and the Woman's Heartland Club.

Strickland has two daughters, Pierrette Hall and Danielle Barbo, and five grandchildren.

If elected, Strickland said she will give up her position with United Way but would like to remain on the board of directors.

"I'll just be serving people in a different way. My job now is serving the people of Newton County," she said. "I like helping people. I'll be willing to help with anything they will bring in to me."

When contacted Wednesday following Strickland's announcement, tax commissioner Barbara Dingler confirmed that she will seek re-election.

The general primary is set for July 15, and the general election will be held November 4.

Crystal Tatum can be crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.