Almost everyone in Northwest Georgia has been negatively impacted by the economic downturn of the past few years – through losing jobs or seeing friends unemployed, watching the value of our houses collapse, and seeing small businesses close up shop. What is it going to take to kick-start our economic growth in Northwest Georgia? What are new incentives for our businesses that are not dependent on the government? And whose leadership can make the most of them?
I am running for state Senator for District 52 because I have a vision for how to generate our own recovery, by focusing on what I call the 3 E’s: economics, education, and energy. And these are not slogans or pie-in-the-sky ideas – they describe innovative solutions are happening now, and in our area. Recently in Cartersville, one of the largest solar applications in the state of Georgia was installed at Aquafil, a manufacturer of carpet materials, and is fully operational. This company recognizes the value of lowering their energy costs, and with this self-generated energy, they are gaining a competitive advantage – using leading edge technology that will set an example.
Last week I posted an Economic Plan that could bring such opportunities to our region through the construction of an energy co-generation plant in an under-utilized industrial park. More than just a business that will be operated at the county level for its specific location, I described what’s known as “positive externalities” – the side effects from this kind of investment that will benefit the whole region – through jobs at the facility and also with the manufacturers and associated vendors and suppliers it can attract, as well as the supplies and services they will need to purchase in our community for their operations. My economic plan describes how getting rid of bureaucratic roadblocks and enhancing community and regional coordination will show Northwest Georgia in the most positive light – to seal the deal with companies that have attractive offers in other locations, too.
Imagine what would GM’s bottom line look like without an electric bill? Or Shaw Industries’? Maybe some of Caterpillar’s venders are now looking at Georgia, and deciding where to relocate. Our finding these innovative opportunities and connecting them with the right technology and the business connections can make and keep employers competitive in ever-changing market, enable them to continue to offer good-paying jobs in our community, and build a sustainable foundation for growth – here.
Good ideas can come from anywhere, and I have the experience of coordinating the efforts of many different organizations on large-scale projects to meet a common goal – and respond to the changing demands of national and worldwide markets, as well as the needs of our communities. I believe that small business is the backbone of the community, and with a Senator who has worked in business and understands the relationships that lead to success – we can meet our goals.
In addition to new energy, what is needed in Northwest Georgia is to recognize that we can’t keep fighting old battles that drain energy from the future, such as the 411 connector. We need to break through indecisiveness and make tough decisions, to either “build the road” – or determine if there are insufficient resources and move on to another strategy – one that doesn’t marry us to more taxes. We need to break out of the disappointments of the past, and the downward spiral of more taxes and less freedom. I am proposing innovative ways to generate more income without increasing taxes.
Northwest Georgia is not going to face its economic recovery on the government’s timetable, according to the government’s rules, or using their revenue which comes from our taxes. We don’t want to be only as good as everyone else – we want to be out in front, leading the way for our families, our community, and our state. We can’t wait, or just rely on the past – for this we need leadership that has a vision of the future.
I have a vested interest in the success of Northwest Georgia, where my children want good jobs, as will my grandchildren. I have seen the challenges that Northwest Georgia faces, and I see tremendous opportunities to move beyond them, with strong, focused, conservative leadership. As a candidate for state Senator, I bring an openness to new approaches to achieve our goals, the vision and business experience to see them succeed, and the leadership to make the tough decisions to get there. As Senator for District 52, I will not only promote the interests of the residents of Floyd, Bartow, Gordon, and Chattooga counties, but also a better future for Georgia.