Lee County voters in districts 2 and 4 have choices to make Tuesday on who they want to represent their respective districts for the next four years. We recommend that voters in District 4 re-elect Commission Rick Muggridge and that those in District 2 elect political newcomer Luke Singletary.
Muggridge, a Republican, is being challenged by Tim Nelson, who is running as an independent. Muggridge qualified for the general election by defeating Frank Taylor in the July 31 Republican Primary.
Likewise, Singletary had opposition in the Republican primary from Ray Timms. His opponent Tuesday, Mary Egler, had no challenger in the Democratic Primary in July. The winner Tuesday will succeed Betty Johnson, who did not seek a new term on the board.
In July, we endorsed both Muggridge and Singletary, and we do so again for the same reasons. Singletary is running, he has said, because of the investment he has in the county in the form of the personal stake that he and his family have in its progress. He also pledges to bring some new ideas and perspectives to the board. Singletary says he wants to make maximum usage of the recently opened library/conference center in Oakland, to push for more transparency and collaboration among county boards and agencies, and to conduct quarterly town halls in different districts to hear the opinions of residents. We believe Singletary will bring a certain spark and energy to the board that will benefit all residents of the county.
In District 4, Muggridge can point to some positive achievements by the board over the past four years. The Grand Island Golf Course, once a financial drain on taxpayers, has been remade into a self-sufficient operation; public safety staff have been added, and, perhaps most remarkably, the county has managed to balance its budget each of the last four years without resorting to layoffs, furloughs or job elimination that could interrupt service to residents. Muggridge also has become an asset for the county through his appointment to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs board, a state agency that is important to local governments.
Lee County appears to be heading in the right direction. We believe that keeping Muggridge on the board and adding Singletary to it will help keep the county moving in a positive direction.