LEESBURG, Ga. -- With at least two new members joining the Lee County Commission in 2013, District 4 Commissioner Rick Muggridge believes his experience will be important to the future of the county.
"I think my experience makes me a better commissioner," said Muggridge, who is opposed by independent candidate Tim Nelson.
To read about Rick Muggridge's opponent, Tim Nelson, click here.
"I've had four years of serving alongside the likes of Betty Johnson, who knows more about Lee County government than anybody, and four years with Bill Williams, who is, without a doubt, the best CPA in Georgia when it comes to local government accounting."
Occupation: Insurance agent
Post Sought: District 4, Lee County Commission
Family: Wife, Terry; children, Josh, 22, Julianna, 19, and Bailey, 6.
Key Issues: continue to work with regional neighbors to move Southwest Georgia forward; Improve on quality of life issues in Lee County; Find ways to enhance retails and agricultural growth.
Although he admits he'd rather not be out campaigning after winning the Republican primary, Muggridge says the process has made him a better public servant.
"What I hear most is to not raise taxes, and we're not going to raise taxes," Muggridge said. "We're in good shape to run Lee County without having to raise taxes."
Despite having opposition in the general election, Muggridge says he is "not running against anybody."
"I am asking people of District 4 to rehire me to be their representative, and I am standing on a record of success," he said. "I am proud of what we, and I stress we because no commissioner does anything on their own, have been able to achieve in very troubling economic times.
"I think Lee County is heading in the right direction. We have a sound budget and sound financial policies," he said. "We've improved the interworking of the government of Lee County. I see brighter days ahead.
"In the last 10 days we've seen Prince Chevrolet begin to move dirt on Ledo Road, Fred's open a new store in Leesburg and, for the first time in several years, Leesburg has a pharmacy in the city limits. Also, Modern Gas just opened their new facility on Highway 82."
Muggridge was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs board. That position, Muggridge says, allows him to develop relationships with officials in Atlanta and other areas of the state.
"Those kinds of things are important because it allows me to go behind the scenes to make government work for the people," he said.
"I am most proud that we have continued to fund the county government and service delivery to the people of Lee County without furloughs, without layoffs and without a cut in services through the worst times we have seen in our lifetime."
Muggridge says he has high hopes for the future of Lee County.
"The values I hold dear reflect the values of my community," he said. "Everything I do, I do thinking about how this will impact folks 20 years from now. I believe in governing for the future."
Regarding his record, Muggridge, who is vice chairman of the commission, points to:
- The turnaround of the county-owned Grand Island club from a $180,000-a-year liability to a self-sustaining facility;
- The addition of 29 public safety employees;
- Providing an "unbudgeted" upgrade for the camera system in the county's jail;
- Collaborating with Albany and Dougherty County for an upgraded county communications system;
- Construction of a fire/EMS station in Smithville and a state-of-the-art animal shelter;
- Development of a 20-year county transportation plan;
- Transportation upgrades throughout the county.