ALBANY — Businessman Chad Warbington announced Friday morning that he will run for the Ward IV seat on the Albany City Commission in the Nov. 5 municipal election.
Warbington, having run a close race for the Ward IV seat in 2015 against incumbent Roger Marietta, said in a news release announcing his candidacy that he starts his campaign with a wide range of support from community and business leaders.
“I’m the kind of person who is always involved in the community, and I thought I could best serve by having a seat at the table,” Warbington told The Albany Herald. “What better way to provide input? It has nothing to do with timing or anything like that, this is just an opportunity for me to influence how our government operates.”
Warbington owns and operates Shutters Plus Inc., a small business in Albany that manufactures and installs shutters and cabinets. The business has 18 employees. He is a graduate of Georgia Tech with a degree in Mechanical Engineering who moved to Albany in 1995 to start his career at Procter & Gamble. He also has served on many city appointed boards and other nonprofit and church leadership boards.
“I learned a lot the last time I ran for this office,” Warbington said. “I feel like I know what is important to our community, but when you get out and talk to hundreds of people, you realize that there are a lot of different issues that impact citizens in our community.
“With informed and strategic leadership, I truly believe Albany’s best days are ahead of us. We need fresh ideas, solutions that work, and representation that puts citizens and families first. I’m passionate about improving our Ward IV neighborhoods and our overall city, and I look forward to working hard to move our city forward.”
Warbington said he expects another close race in his showdown with Marietta.
“I think it is time for Albany and specifically Ward IV to have a new commissioner with fresh ideas and new strategies,” he said. “I’m offering voters a new and different vision for Albany. Most of the issues that were in the forefront of the 2015 election are still issues today, like high crime, declining population and a stagnant local economy. Utility rates and infrastructure are major concerns for citizens, and I have the engineering background and business experience to represent our citizens for these critical issues.”
The Ward IV City Commission candidate said three major issues will be key to his campaign:
1. Crime and Safety — Develop improved policies that recruit and retain police officers to fill our critical shortage of officers. Youth programs and mentorships need to be increased in the city to reach our youths earlier. New law enforcement technology must be leveraged to give officers the tools they need to prevent and deter crime.
2. Local Economy and Growth — Focus on new policies and strategies that improve our local economy and stop the population decline of our city. Our home values are declining, and our neighborhoods are in disrepair. I will develop new strategies to grow small businesses, to increase higher paying jobs and to attract families to our city.
3. City Finances and Accountability — Provide more transparency and citizen involvement in SPLOST projects and the recently passed T-SPLOST referendum. Our Infrastructure needs major improvements, and I will ensure funding is focused on our streets, sewer system and Utility upgrades. Fiscal responsibility should be the No. 1 priority for a commissioner, and I intend to use more community involvement, my engineering background and my business knowledge to ensure city funds are budgeted and spent properly.