The Iris Charter Chapter American Business Women’s Association hosted the final candidate forum for the July 31 primary election Thursday night. All of the candidates in the four contested races were given the opportunity to speak for three minutes, explaining why they are the best person for the job.
City and county transportation planner Anthony Dukes also spoke on the transportation sales tax, or T-SPLOST, and some of the projects in the immediate area of the location of the forum, held at Griffin First United Methodist Church.
There were no questions from the audience, but those in attendance were invited to talk with the candidates following the forum. ABWA Chapter President Wanda Cronic Howell said it was a “very relaxed format to get to know the candidates.”
Howell said “an educated vote is a lot more important that just a vote.” She also thanked all the candidates for being willing to run.
“I appreciate very much you doing this for the county,” she said.
Each candidate touted his or her long-time or lifetime ties to the county, and why his or her experience makes him or her the best person for the job. This prompted Dukes, he explained, to point out that he too was a graduate of Griffin High School and has served the community since 2005 as the transportation planner, working to improve the community.
He explained that the projects on the list had to be regional in nature, so while there were no projects on Maple Drive, near the church, some of the projects would improve traffic and quality of life for people in the area. He cited the Moreland Road extension, which he said would make it easier for residents in that area to get to Ingles.
Dukes also noted that 25 percent, or $22.9 million, of the total funds ($97 million) will be coming to Spalding County, and that the money could be used for repaving, bicycle and pedestrian lanes, bridge replacements, traffic signals and as matching funds for state and federal funds to do other projects in the area. He said a detailed description of the projects in Spalding County can be found on the city and county websites, as well as at the Three Rivers Regional Commission site or the State Department of Transportation site.