CONYERS -- Local businessman Tom Harrison said he will officially launch his campaign Saturday for the Post 1 seat on the Rockdale County Board of Commissioners.
Harrison, a long-time resident of south Rockdale County and community volunteer, will make his announcement at Saturday's Constitution Day Celebration at Pine Log Park. He is the first Republican to run in the BOC Post 1 race.
Harrison said he decided to run for the Board of Commissioners because "the community is at a crossroads, and effective leadership is needed now more than ever," according to a statement released to the Citizen.
He believes partisan politics get in the way of good government, and he will work to bring people together.
"I have seen our sense of community decline; I have watched people operating in isolation when collaborations should be sought; and I have witnessed civility in our government erode," said Harrison. "These are recent trends I'd like to help reverse."
He added, "We need leaders who are responsive and courteous to all. Behaving otherwise demeans the position and the public trust, and it diminishes our sense of unity and our sense of community."
If elected, Harrison said he will seek to work with the city of Conyers to ensure that city and county ordinances are consistent and that they do not get in the way of economic development.
Also, Harrison said he favors reducing the salary of the county commission chairman and exploring the feasibility of changing to a county manager form of local government.
Those two issues are also favored by Jason Hill, a former county commissioner who earlier this week announced his plans to run for county chairman. Harrison said he thinks having a professional handle the day-to-day operations of the county government can prevent politics from interfering with effective governance.
Harrison has worked in the water, sewerage and irrigation industry since 1990 and is a partner in his firm Tom Harrison and Associates. He and his wife, Lorraine, publish About Conyers Magazine.
Harrison's community activities include serving on the Rockdale Coalition of Homeowners and Civic Associations as a representative of Leadership Rockdale and the Rotary Club of Rockdale County. He is also past chairman of the Conyers-Rockdale Planning Commission and currently serves as co-chair of United Way in Rockdale County annual campaign.
Harrison will run in the Republican Primary Election in July. Democrats running are incumbent Commissioner Oz Nesbitt and challengers Jerry Shepperd and Winston McDonald.