Ludowici incumbent Mayor James Fuller and challenger Robert Parker spoke before the Long County Chamber of Commerce at the Compass Worship Center in last week.
Fuller focused on his previous 3½ years as mayor, talking about his and City Council’s accomplishments. Fuller highlighted the city’s infrastructure, saying that many improvements had been made.
He said some of the improvements included new sewer lines on North Macon, North Main, Church, Union, Residence, Railroad and Lincoln streets; and a new water-sampling system. He also said the city had received a $100,000 grant that allowed many streets to be resurfaced and repaired.
He said the city is more attractive than when he took office, and that improvements had been made to the Rose Garden and to Freedom Park.
Fuller said the Police Department has added a new tag reader to help catch drivers who are violating the law, which has brought in additional revenue. He said the city now provides emergency air-transport coverage to each resident at no additional cost by using Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds.
Fuller said all of these accomplishments came because he and City Council worked together to be responsible with the city’s money. Fuller said he and the council implemented a balanced budget and always provide monthly financial reports that are true and correct.
“We have been able to accomplish a lot over the last three years, and we have been able to do it and still lower the mileage rate twice,” he said.
Parker told the crowd he is a lifelong resident of the county and graduated from Long County High School in 2004. He has worked in public service his entire life, starting as a Ludowici police officer, then worked for the Long County Sheriff’s Office until 2011. After this, he went into the funeral business and has served as the deputy coroner for the last nine years.
He currently operates and owns Parker Mortuary Transport in Long County and is also employed by Low Country Cremation and Burial Services in Glennville.
Parker said that as mayor, he would work to maximize the city’s tax dollars and generate as much revenue as possible. He pledged to work with the county as closely as possible and support current businesses as well as seek new ones. He said he wanted to make improvements to the city’s roads, sewage system and buildings, and make the city more aesthetically appealing.
He said that to achieve these goals, he feels that the city leaders need to build better relationships with their state and federal representatives.
“If our representatives in Atlanta and even Washington don’t know our needs and concerns, they can’t help us,” Parker said. “And one thing business, politics and public service has taught me is that you get a lot farther with a personal visit than a phone call.”
Parker also said that he desires to improve the overall tax base in the city by consolidating certain services, adhering to an operating budget and conducting city business similar to the way that private businesses operate.