On July 31, voters in southwest Cobb will select their next county commissioner from among six Democrats: Lisa Cupid, Monica DeLancy, Ruth Negron, Dr. Michael Rhett, Connie Taylor and incumbent Woody Thompson. No Republicans qualified to run for the post, so the winner of the primary will most likely be the one taking office in January.
Ruth Negron did not return her answers to the Journal.
Occupation: Real Estate Broker
Previous political experience: 1 1 years as County Commissioner
Education: B.S. Business Administration West Georgia College G.R.I., Realtors Institute Certified County Commissioner Association of County Commissioners of Georgia
Family: Wife, Betsy; two adult daughters, one granddaughter
Do you plan to vote for the TIA on July 31?
State and Federal dollars will decline. Costs to build and maintain infrastructure will increase. The State Legislature has given the people the option vote yes or no.
If Cobb voters reject TIA but it passes metro-wide, would you spend county money to sue in an effort to block it?
The legislation probably would prohibit this. The BOC would have to seek legal advice. I would not spend the dollars.
Can the scope of county government, and thus county expenses, be reduced further? If so, what would you cut?
There is always room for improvement and further efficiency which is one reason we voted to have the Citizens Advisory Committee. The level of expertise was phenomenal and we are reviewing their recommendations and will be taking actions to improve the County’s operations and save taxpayer monies.
Is the practice of “walking the halls” to gauge commissioners’ feelings on issues before they vote in public efficient government, or does it circumvent open meetings laws?
Sometimes it is helpful to bounce thoughts to another commissioner. Our staff does a good job of drafting agenda items that are clear. If the new law prohibits we will abide by it.
Does Cobb offer too little, too much or the right amount of financial incentives to lure new jobs ?
Just about right. We have had some revision of the policy that reflects the economic times.
Should the commission have stronger oversight of the two Community Improvement Districts? If so, what type of oversight do you envision?
The CIDs were created by the State Legislature and the BOC doesn’t have authority over them. The CIDs have voluntarily chosen to tax themselves above the rate that the county taxes them. They decide how the extra funds will be used.
Do you promise not to vote for a tax increase during this term, if elected?
When the county SPLOST expires, would you support an extension for four, five or six years?
I would not object to the voters having the opportunity to choose, but only in a general election.
Do you favor changing the law to allow SPLOST money to support the arts?
This would have to be done at the state level, but as much as I love the arts it must be self supporting and self sustaining.
Should Cobb spend tax dollars on the Chamber’s EDGE program?
Not at this time, we don’t have the money. It should be funded by members. However, the county is a member and could at sometime make a nominal contribution.
Do you favor outsourcing more economic-development work to the Chamber?
No. We have our own ED department. We can still partner on efforts for the good of Cobb citizens.
What should the county do to encourage redevelopment in south Cobb?
We have the new South Cobb Redevelopment Authority. We have expanded our Enterprise Zone and the Chairman and I are meeting with Department of Community Affairs next week to expand the Opportunity Zone. That will give employers income tax credits to encourage them to come to our area.
What is the biggest problem you want to solve, if elected, and how would you do it?
Creating jobs as mentioned above, in a safe, wholesome environment. This is making sure we have a Public Safety Department that has the resources to maintain this environment. I look forward to completing these initiatives over the next four years.