COVINGTON - District 3 Board of Commissioners candidate Victor Etefia said he decided to run for office because, "It's in my nature to want to help people."
"My whole reason for running for election is that I wanted to serve my community," said Etefia, a Democrat.
Etefia has lived in Newton County for two years and in that time he's become interested in protecting his new hometown from unregulated growth.
"I wanted to give some kind of input on how the county should grow. I'm going to be here for a while, and I feel like I have a vested interest in the development of the county. I don't want anything bad to happen to it," he said.
Of utmost concern to Etefia is repairing and improving roads, and he said the county "needs to find ways of creatively solving the problem."
One option would be to require developers to pay for improvement and expansion of roads they build along, he said. The widening of Salem Road should be the county's top priority, he added.
"If it takes me going to the Department of Transportation and begging, that's what I'll do," he said.
Another top priority is providing more parks and recreational facilities.
"Parents are saying they have their kids sitting at home all day playing video games because they do not have any place to go," Etefia said.
Etefia also said he would like the county to look into building a counseling center or treatment facility for abused children.
Etefia also said he's heard complaints that developers don't always adhere to zoning conditions and restrictions. If elected, he said he would be a watchdog for residents and would make sure their property rights are protected.
"It's in my nature to want to help people ... If I can do that by being district commissioner, I'm all for it, and I just hope people give me an opportunity to do that and see what I can do," he said.
Etefia was born in New Orleans and spent 12 years living in Nigeria before moving to Georgia in 1994. He has a degree in finance from Georgia State University and works as a finance clerk at Document Technologies, a secure document management company catering primarily to the medical and banking industries.
He is a past volunteer with Habitat for Humanity in Fulton County.
Etefia faces Jimmy Clark Jr., Andre Cooper, Nancy Schulz and Gabriel White in the July 15 Democratic primary.
Crystal Tatum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.