LEESBURG, Ga. -- Although he officially began his quest for re-election during qualifying more than a month ago, District 4 Lee County Commissioner Rick Muggridge kicked off his active campaign for the July 31 Republican primary this week.
Muggridge, who has served the past two years as vice chairman of the Lee Commission, said he's used the campaign start to reflect on the changes made in the county over the past four years.
"This has been a healthy exercise," Muggridge said. "In going through my campaign materials from 2008, I've come upon a number of things that were issues then but aren't anymore. It's quite a list.
"That's why I'm excited to say as I start my campaign that I'm truly running on my record."
Muggridge offered a number of accomplishments from his first four-year term that he said have positively impacted the county, touting economic policies as vital to the county's fiscal well-being.
"In a phone conversation with (fellow commissioner and Budget Committee chairman) Bill Williams, we started coming up with the public safety personnel we've added over the last four years," Muggridge said. "And even in the morass of the current economic crisis, we've added 29 budgeted public service positions in the county.
"And we've added these positions in the worst economic crisis of our time while all along keeping a balanced budget and increasing our contingency fund from $3.2 million to $7.8 million. I think that's pretty phenomenal, but no one person is responsible. This board works so well together, and we have incredible staff in place that does such a great job."
Other accomplishments mentioned by Muggridge:
- Turning the county's public-owned golf course at the Grand Island Club into a self-sufficient entity;
- Providing for an updated -- and unbudgeted -- camera system for the Lee County Jail;
- Vastly improving the county's emergency communications system;
- Completing an EMS/fire station in Smithville;
- Building a mostly privately-funded animal shelter;
- Putting in place a 20-year transportation plan;
- Developing an aggressive road improvement project list that is ongoing.
"This campaign has also forced me to create the website (www.rickmuggridge.com) that I've been wanting to do for a while now to get a true gauge of public opinion," Muggridge said. "One thing I've learned over these four years is that the loudest person in the room is usually not the voice of the majority.
"I've also got a Facebook page and a Twitter account. This technology is out there; these are the tools of the 21st century. I want to use them to open the lines of communication with the citizens of the county. We have the means now for everyone to be actively involved."