Voters will select political party nominees for county commission posts 2, 3 and 4, with transparency in government economic development efforts the apparent main issue dividing commission candidates.
The issue stems from a company proposing passenger flights at Silver Comet Field airport as part of an overall area development initiative. The plan was not made public for almost a year after agreements with the company were approved.
Opponents maintain the county’s economic recruitment process should be more transparent regardless of the outcome because public money is being used. Proponents have noted negotiations with private companies typically must be done in private to recruit job-producing industries.
On opposing Facebook pages, commercialization supporters have endorsed Democrat George “Pat” Hughes in Post 2; and Republicans Herb Haynes and Richard Manous in Post 3; and David Barnett in Post 4. Those in opposition have endorsed Republican Todd Pownall and Democrat Patti Smith in Post 2; and Republicans Vernon Collett in Post 3 and Tony Crowe in Post 4.
Also on Tuesday’s ballot, voters will select party nominees for county school board districts 2, 5 and 6; state Senate districts 30 and 31; state House districts 17, 19, 66 and 67; and Georgia’s 14th Congressional District.
They will join fellow Georgians in selecting party nominees for U.S. Senate; governor; lieutenant governor; secretary of state; commissioners of agriculture, insurance and labor; and state school superintendent.
However, they will not see candidates for Paulding Superior Court because the only candidates who qualified withdrew in March.
Judge James Osborne and his daughter, attorney Elizabeth Williams, qualified for the position and Osborne withdrew, leaving his daughter the only candidate. Williams then withdrew amid an outcry from government watchdogs and the state legal community.
Voters also will be asked Tuesday to renew the current 1-percent special purpose local option sales tax for education through 2021.
The sales tax extension will be for five years, from 2016 to 2021, and generate an estimated $87.6 million.
Almost half will go to debt service with the remainder funding school heating and air conditioning upgrades, technology improvements and additions to Shelton Elementary and North Paulding High schools.