Wednesday, October 14, 2015

My Voting Guide for November 2015

It's about that time of year when I look at the ballots in my area, and with the power of the internet, find out what's really going on with elections both local and national, and figure out for whom I want to vote. This time around, it happens that the only elections going on are -very- local, and the only seats I have to vote for are the Mayor of Tyrone and one seat on the Town Council. But local matters a lot. So, here goes.

Mayor of Tyrone
We have the incumbent, Eric Dial, facing off against one challenger, Derrick Jackson. Both ran for the seat in 2011, to succeed the previous mayor who was stepping down. Dial won by a 2-to-1 margin.

Mr. Dial is standing on his four years as Mayor and four as Councilman, during which the town has been named "Happiest City in Georgia", one of the "Top 10 Safest Cities in Georgia", and one of the "Best Suburbs to Raise a Family". His web site points out that the millage rate hasn't been raised in Tyrone, and this matters to me: The two reasons we moved to Tyrone from Peachtree City were taxes and home prices.

On to Mr. Jackson. He claims a strong record of community involvement, military service, and success in management.  According to his web site, he seems to have a strong "economic development" agenda. He wants to "develop and boost Tyrone's brand", and "Advance the recreational opportunities for children and teens." I've got two kids, and they don't lack for recreational activities, I think. Besides, I have long been a supporter of non-taxpayer-funded kids activities. I mean, activities at the library and recreation center are great, but so are activities provided by local churches, theatres, scouts, and neighbors who just want to do something good. He wants to "improve public safety"... in one of the safest cities in the state.

Other interesting details about Mr. Jackson's campaign that I have found:
His campaign Facebook page "likes" Barack and Michelle Obama, take from that what you will. Also, his web page says "Powered by Eric Gray and Associates". Eric Gray and Associates' own web site appears to be down at the moment, but when I was able to read it, I saw that they are Democrat political campaign consultants.

Oh, one other thing. According to Mr. Jackson's FB page, he won "Fayette County Citizen of the Year" in 2013. But the page doesn't say who gave him this accolade. I can't find any press release announcing this event from the awarding organization, and I can't find any other year in which this award has ever been given. Seems odd to me.

In comparison, Dial's web page is "Paid for by the Committee to Elect Eric Dial". Which, from what I can tell, is an entirely local operation.

I'm leaning towards Dial. I think that there are places in and around Atlanta that need Mr. Jackson's economic development. But I like Tyrone's "small town" nature, that it is close enough to Peachtree City and Atlanta that we can take advantage of everything they have to offer, but that life here is not as crowded or expensive.

Tyrone Council
Incumbent Ryan Housley is being challenged by town planning commissioner Wil James. Can't find much about either online, though I have learned more about Housley than James. Housley was also elected in 2011 to his current seat. Here is a letter to the editor he wrote to the Citizen to announce his re-election.

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