CONYERS -- Local resident and a regular at Rockdale County government meetings Sam Smiley tossed his hat in the ring for the Post 1 seat on the county Board of Commissioners.
Smiley's announcement Wednesday means there will be contested races in both the Democratic and Republican primaries in July. Smiley will run in the Republican primary against Tom Harrison. Incumbent Commissioner Oz Nesbitt is seeking a second term and will face Jerry Sheppard in the Democratic primary.
Smiley is an 18-year resident of Rockdale County and runs Rockdale NeTworks, a business that provides technical solutions to small and medium-sized businesses and organizations. He also has brought his perspective to BOC meetings with the creation of a Web site, BOCwatch.org. Smiley added he has followed the county government closely and attended almost every BOC meeting since April 2009.
Smiley said he had many reasons to consider running. In an email response to questions he said there seems to be a disconnect between the county government and residents.
"The short answer is that in the last three years of participating in the local government I have seen many things that have prompted me to make this decision; hiring of an unqualified personnel, a 2.38 mill increase in the tax digest since this administration took office during a recession, an increase in the BOC budget from a rough $350,000 to somewhere around $1 million at present, a lack of interest in making cuts to ease the burden on the taxpayers, a proposed $300,000 dog park, a 42 percent increase in water rates for homeowners, etc.," Smiley wrote. "These are the major issues as I'm sure you are aware."
Smiley currently sits on the Citizens Oversight Committee for the county's 2011 SPLOST and serves on the Fire Rescue/911, Park and Recreation sub-committees. He is also a graduate of the 2010 Rockdale County Sheriff's Office Citizen's Academy.
Smiley is also active at the state level concerning firearm rights with his work with GeorgiaCarry.org. He also lobbied local county and city governments to revise ordinances to comply with state firearm laws.
For more information on Smiley's campaign, call 404-803-3252, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.electsamsmiley.com.