NEWBORN - Roger Sheridan wants to be mayor of Newborn so the residents can have more of a voice.
Sheridan is running on a public input platform: His top priority is to get the residents more involved in their local government and give them more opportunities to speak out and tell officials what they want done in their community.
Sheridan and four other candidates - Gene Downs, John Donaldson, Tom Krieger and Martha Ellwanger - have all taken that stance in an unusual show of solidarity during political season, even putting out pamphlets that state their joint goals for the town, chief among them public participation.
"Our feeling is, come in and tell us the problems and we'll try to prioritize them and do something with them," Sheridan said.
The first thing that Sheridan plans to do if elected mayor is take down a "No Loitering" sign that was placed on Town Hall - he believes to discourage residents from being there.
Also, Sheridan said instead of having residents comments at the end of council meetings, he will allow them on every agenda item. Some residents have told him they don't come to meetings because they don't have a fair chance to voice their concerns, and Sheridan hopes giving them more opportunity to comment will change that.
"We want them to come to meetings. We want them to tell us what they want," Sheridan said.
Sheridan will also pursue opening a precinct for the Newton County Sheriff's Office. He said there are several vacant properties that could be used as office space on a part-time basis, and a more regular presence of deputies might help decrease crime and traffic problems.
Sheridan has lived in Newborn for 17 years and is the former town manager.
He is a retired captain with the Army Corps of Engineers.
He has worked for various companies as a project manager overseeing construction of treatment plants, airports, bridges, roads and seaports. Sheridan has been in charge of projects with budgets as high as $500 million, and said he knows how to get projects done on budget and ahead of schedule.
He believes his experience as a project manager will serve him well as mayor.
Sheridan said he plans to employ some of that knowledge toward the renovation of the Newborn Schoolhouse. He said the project should go out to bid with the stipulation that bidders provide a list of all work to be done and the cost and expected timeline on each job, which will allow the council to pick and choose what they want to fund and to do the project in phases.
A fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Sheridan has served as a professional engineer and land surveyor in Georgia and several other states.
Sheridan and his wife Shirley have been married for 65 years and have six children.
He is a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
Sheridan faces incumbent J.W. Cummings and James King in the Nov. 3 Municipal Election.