Qualifying recently closed in Long County for the vacant 4th District County Commission seat, for which someone will be elected in November. Initially, Clifton DeLoach, Alice Woodard and Joseph Duncan qualified, but according to elections supervisor Kierra Hamilton, Duncan has withdrawn his candidacy.
Woodard and DeLoach recently spoke on the record about their platforms, backgrounds and experience.
DeLoach, a lifelong Long County resident, is looking to reclaim the seat he held from 2000-12. He retired from Rayonier Inc. last year after 40 years with the company. He and his wife, Linda, have three children.
DeLoach said that being retired will allow him to spend more time out in the community talking to his constituents.
“I want to know what people think and what they want for Long County. I have a lot of time to talk to them, so that I can take their thoughts to the table and do what is best for our county,” DeLoach said.
DeLoach said he’d like to address a few specific areas and projects, such as securing more funding for road paving and having the county go back to laying calcium chloride on dirt roads.
“To pave roads, you got to be willing to go to Atlanta and ask for money. They’re not going to come to you — you have to go to them. I’ll do that. And we need to start back putting calcium chloride on our dirt roads. It keeps the dust down, helps stop the washboards and cuts down on maintenance,” DeLoach said.
The candidate added that he’d like to work on the fairness of the county’s hiring process.
“Right now, we’re going through the motions. We run a position in the paper to hire someone when somebody has already been picked out and told they have the job. That’s got to stop. Job opportunities have to be for everybody,” he said.
DeLoach maintains he will not raise taxes on property owners.
“The sheriff’s office is bringing in about $500,000 annually, even with the lost money from the land that was taken. The county is taking in more than we ever did. If we do what is right with our money, it won’t be necessary to raise taxes,” he said.
DeLoach, who oversaw the recreation department as a commissioner, also said he’d like to see the recreation complex completed with the addition of a shelter.
Alice M. Woodard
Woodard, a political newcomer, said she lived for 22 years in Maryland, where she was employed by UPS. After she resigned from the company, she and her husband, Billy, moved to Long County in 2006, and she currently works at Schneider National in Midway. The Woodards have lived in District 4 for three years.
“The realtor in Georgia was very aggressive but could not find a home already built that Billy liked. She then informed him of a new location in Long County, where he could build the ‘home of his dreams,’ so here we are,” Woodard said.
She is a dispatcher with Schneider and is responsible for ensuring that 35 drivers deliver their freight in Florida. When employed at UPS, she was an office and account manager. During that time, Woodard said she worked with CEOs, CFOs, presidents and traffic managers who ran corporations, maintained business relationships and facilitated development and growth.
Woodard said she is running for the commission’s seat so she can help move Long County into the 21st century.
“I can help the county provide resources to assist us in developing personal growth and economic development,” she said.
The candidate’s specific areas of focus include bringing new business opportunities to the county, creating more jobs, providing safe recreational activities, improving communication between the commission and the citizens and resolving the flooding and sewage issues in her district and the rest of the county.
“I believe that I have fresh ideas, as well as God-given talent in many areas that will be a valuable asset to the current county commissioners and the residents of Long County,” Woodard said.