Lifelong Long County resident Mike Phillips has announced plans to run for the vacant District 3 commissioners’ spot. The seat became open upon the resignation of former commissioner Willie Frank Thompson.
“I’ve thought about it for years,” Phillip said. “I grew up in this district… This district has been hurting for a good commissioner for a while.”
Phillips lives on the family farm he inherited from his father, Joe Phillips and his grandparents. He said the farm has been in his family since the 1930s.
He added he has no intention of leaving and plans to raise his kids there because he feels a strong connection to the area.
Phillips said he credits his father for providing him and his family a solid foundation. Joe Philips did a lot of government contract work and owned several rental properties.
“When he died he had close to 30,” Phillips said, adding those properties were split between him and his sister.
Phillips said he’s served on the Long County Planning and Zoning Board since 2013. He said while growth is inevitable, it was vital to take things at a natural pace to ensure the community’s future.
“At first I plan to keep my eyes and ears open and my mouth shut for the most part,” he said, “and try and figure out the facts, pros and cons of everything. I am not coming in as a big reform candidate or try and make major changes. Nobody got their pilot’s license on a 747 and nobody learned to drive in a semi. You have to take small steps and learn… get it ingrained as second nature and then you move up…
“I feel like that has been a problem with a lot of these commissioners too. They come in with grand ideas and really want to turn things and change the world, but a lot of times that backfires.”
Phillips said it is important to consider long-term consequences when evaluating growth.
“Big growth comes with big pain sometimes and I just want to see small subtle changes going into the future,” he said. “Let’s just maintain what we got and make sure we don’t tip the boat over… aI am more about sound management. Let’s make sure we have a good handle on what’s going on before we make decisions. Let’s make sure we understand the repercussions and things that are going to follow down the road.”