COVINGTON - Newton County native Ann Wilson has qualified to run in the District 1 Board of Commissioners race.
Though she's never before run for public office, Wilson said that may be an asset: She believes residents are ready for a new face.
"I felt like District 1 needed more representation," Wilson said. "Although we've had good leadership in the past, I do think we need a fresh perspective on some of the projects, some of the endeavors the county has taken on. I've never been one to jump on anything first. But if someone doesn't step up to the plate, I will."
A Newton County native, Wilson said she's disturbed by the negative impact of growth, especially crime.
"I think we grew too fast. In our zeal to accomplish some of our goals, we went a little overboard in building. We need to get our priorities back in order," she said.
She said the Board of Commissioners should have input on deciding whether new schools should be built.
"I wonder if we really need all these schools on every corner," she said.
Wilson said many residents can't afford to pay their tax bills and the majority of the bill comes from school property taxes.
"There are a lot of people in the county that are hurting, and we need people that are sensitive to those needs to be in leadership," she said.
Wilson said she'd also like to see more fair distribution of amenities, such as recreation facilities.
"The county has been more or less divided along district lines," she said.
Wilson is a graduate of Newton High School and is retired from the U.S. Postal Service.
During her 30-year career with the Postal Service, Wilson served as an officer in charge and gained experience in budgeting, planning and customer service.
Wilson serves on the Board of Directors for the local chapter of AARP, has been a volunteer poll worker and manager at Livingston precinct and is an active member of Harvest Baptist Church.
She and her husband, Frank, have two children and six grandchildren.
Wilson will face incumbent Mort Ewing in the July 15 primary. Willie J. Smith and Mark Patrick are running on the Democratic ticket.
Crystal Tatum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.