Sigman makes third bid for mayor

Photo by Crystal Tatum

Photo by Crystal Tatum

Bobby Sigman is hoping the third time will be the charm as he makes a run for mayor of Covington.

Sigman previously ran for mayor twice, most recently in 2003. He served one term on the City Council in the mid '90s. He also ran for the Post 2, East Ward council seat in 2007. He is a former state representative.

Sigman, 70, said it's that political experience, as well as his more than 50 years living in Covington, that give him an advantage in this year's race.

"I know the people that built this city. I'm not a Johnny come lately," he said.

Sigman said his platform is built on the principle that, "We need to get back to the basics of government."

Basic services such as police and fire protection and sanitation need to be priority and superfluous projects need to be cut, he said.

"We need a voice that's capable of saying no," he said.

If elected, Sigman said his first order of business would be to ask all city department heads cut their budgets by 10 percent. Though the city has a surplus, that's not a license to spend, he said. Rather, that surplus should be used to keep utility and water rates down, with the city absorbing the cost, but not "for overpriced lots in Walker's Bend," he said, referring to the city's housing initiative.

Sigman said he believes more can be done to lower utilities, including investigating alternative power sources such as solar and looking at whether the city can buy power from a source other than the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia.

Sigman said he also wants to create a public relations position specifically to deal with citizens concerns about utilities and educate the public on how to conserve energy.

He also promised to work to stop collection of the stormwater utility, which he called a tax. Though the stormwater program is federally mandated, there is no mandate on how to pay for the program, Sigman said. He believes there is enough money in the city's general fund to cover costs.

"I'm going to take every burden I can off the people," he said, adding that local officials don't have to jump every time the federal government says so. "What are they going to do, come down here and wham, bam, lock everybody up?"

Sigman is not a supporter of a public rails to trails project.

"We don't need to be spending taxpayer money on rails to trails. There are more important things at this point. If it's private, I'll support it. If it means taxpayers having to fund it, keep it up, I'm going to have to have a very long hard look at it," he said.

Sigman moved to Covington in 1959 at age 19. He attended Loganville High School, then served in the military and went to work for Lockheed as a data processor. He has been in the real estate business for 40 years and owns Sigman Land and Investment Co.

Sigman is a lifetime member of the Covington Elks Lodge, a member of the Covington Masonic Lodge and of The Church at Covington. In 1975, he was voted one of the five most outstanding young men by Georgia Jaycees.

He has a wife, Pamela, a daughter and two grandchildren.

Sigman can be reached at bobby.sigman@gmail.com or at 770-856-7051.

So far, the mayor's race is two candidates strong. Political newcomer Ronnie Johnston recently announced. Incumbent Kim Carter has not yet officially said whether she plans to seek reelection.

Qualifying for the nonpartisan municipal election is Aug. 29 through Sept. 2. The election is Nov. 8.