Current, former chairmen vie for seat
by Tom Spigolon
July 16, 2012 12:00 AM | 2536 views | 2 2 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Douglas County’s Republican voters will have a choice July 31 between two county chairman candidates with vast experience in state and local government.

Former chairman Rita Rainwater is challenging current chairman Tom Worthan in the July 31 GOP primary for the county government’s top elected job. The GOP primary winner will face Democrat Romona Jackson Jones on Nov. 6.

Rainwater held the office from 1992 to 2004.

“I’ve just seen the roads deteriorate, the fire department deteriorate,” she said. “I want to bring the people back into (government).”

During her 12 years as county chairman, she said, she cut the millage rate in half from when she took office in 1992. The county also built its current courthouse on Hospital Drive; the Woodie Fite Senior Center; the Boundary Waters Aquatic Center in east Douglas; and two fire stations during her tenure, Rainwater said.

She also served as Meriwether County administrator — the top staff job — in 2010 and 2011.

Worthan noted he has served as a county commissioner, state representative and commission chairman through the past three decades.

Douglas County built three fire stations, a new 911/Emergency Operations Center and the new Dog River Library; and opened the new Lithia Springs Recreational Park and revamped Woodrow Wilson Park during his two terms, he said.

He said he’s led the county “through the worst drought in our history, the greatest flood in our history, and the worst economic depression in our lifetime.”

“In the past eight years, our county has gone from out-of-control and unmanageable growth to stability with quality development,” he said. “We are no longer a community of almost exclusively starter homes as was the case when I took office, but a community of higher quality homes and commercial development.

“Financially, we are in better shape than almost any county in the nation because we have been fiscally conservative. The only short-term debt we have will be paid off in November 2013. Our employee pension plan is fully funded. We have a reserve fund to handle emergency situations.”

The reserve fund kept the county government “viable during the September 2009 floods,” he said. The water system was damaged, and at least 178 roads and bridges were damaged or washed out “and the repairs were up to us,” he said.

“(The Federal Emergency Management Agency) only reimburses a percentage of costs and it sometimes takes years to get these funds,” he said. “Conservative fiscal leadership made the difference.”
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Douglas watchdog
July 16, 2012
I thought Rita Rainwater served only 2 terms, not 3, and that she was running for her 3rd term when she lost to Tom Worthan.

Worthan was a one term commissioner and was voted out of office by irate residents after only one term, partly because he approved huge apartment complexes. He was also a one term legislator, voted out of office by irate residents. He lost to Bill Hembree.

His 2nd term as Chairman is in doubt because Douglas County Election Supervisor Laurie Fulton incorrectly wrote names on ballots and the computer would not take more than 20,000 ballots. Those were incorrectly hand counted by Mrs. Fulton. No one knew this until chairman candidate James Quarterman filed a lawsuit. It then became public knowledge and Mrs. Fulton was and has been repeatedly fined by the state election board for voting violations.

Worthan didn't get much more than half the votes against someone with no money, no signs, no flyers and no sense.

I see in the article that Worthan does not mention the so-called Douglas County jail, which is really a prison and will bankrupt Douglas County. The prison was rejected in two different SPLOST votes by county residents. It won by 32 votes on the 3rd try. This was when Douglas County Election Supervisor Laurie Fulton hand counted more than 20,000 votes... and no one knew about it until the lawsuit. All SPLOST money went to the jail, nothing for roads, parks, etc.

By the way, the swimming pool/aquatic center cost taxpayers about $70,000 a year more than it brings in. The senior center is completely unnecessary and the courthouse cost 3 times moree per sq. ft. than what other counties pay.

There is a completely unqualified Democrat running who will get at least nearly half the vote for just putting her name on the ballot.

Douglas County stinks.
Douglas Watchdog
July 16, 2012
I made a typo in the above comment.

The swimming pool/aquatic center cost Douglas taxpayers $700,000 a year more than it takes in, not $70,000.

Just like the Barnes-Mabel House Amphitheater in Cobb cost Cobb taxpayers about $800,000 a year more than it takes in.
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