County commissioners aim to defend seats in election

  • County commissioners aim to defend seats in election
    County commissioners aim to defend seats in election
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Lumpkin County Commission Chairman Chris Dockery, District 1 Commissioner Dr. David Miller and District 2 Commissioner Bobby Mayfield are all ready to run for reelection to their respective seats in the May 19 General Primary.
As of press time, they are unopposed. But that could change by the time qualifying ends next Friday.

DOCKERY, CHAIRMAN

Dockery made the decision to seek a third term “after careful consideration and conversation with family and community members,” he said. “I am truly humbled by the encouragement that I have received almost daily over the past few months to continue to serve.”
Service is something Dockery said he has demonstrated since graduating from the University of North Georgia in 1989, commissioning as a 2nd Lieutenant. He worked in law enforcement for six years before starting a small business as a general contractor in 1996.
In 2005 he was deployed to Iraq where he served as Commander of the 124th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment. He retired from the Army Reserve as a lieutenant colonel in 2017.
Leadership is another quality Dockery brings to the table, he said.
“I have served in the Army as an officer commanding troops at various levels in both peace time and combat. In addition, I have chaired various boards to include the Development Authority of Lumpkin County, and served on the Water & Sewerage Authority. I was also selected by the director of the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) to serve on the Group Self Insurance Worker’s Compensation Fund Board of Trustees, where I still serve as a member.”
He currently serves as a council member of the Georgia Mountains Regional Commission and Regional Work Force Development.
He is also a member of ACCG Legislative Policy Council, Vice Chair of the Revenue and Finance Committee, Dahlonega Sunrise Rotary and Town Creek Baptist Church.
Dockery said he is “proud to be a part of the many objectives accomplished by the Board over the past few years.”
These include completing several SPLOST projects mandated by the voters that were hindered due to budget constraints—expansion of the water infrastructure, completion of Fire Station #7, creation of new industry through the Development Authority and the soon to be completed library.
In addition, Dockery said, “We have worked diligently to update our local land use codes as well as improve relationships with the City of Dahlonega. While the news of Chestatee Hospital closing was a devastating blow, we were able to bring the community together and with the help of our state lawmakers, find a solution for local health care. The result of these efforts have led to top quality health care provided by Northeast Georgia Health Systems with a commitment to start construction of a new hospital beginning summer of 2020.
“The recently passed Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax not only allowed us to lower the millage rate a full one mill, but also will allow funding for much needed road improvements, to include the joint project with the city of Dahlonega to improve the intersection of Highway Business 19 North and Oak Grove Road.
“While there is still work to be done, we have enhanced fire protection by staffing more stations with funding through SAFER grants. In cooperation with the city of Dahlonega, we replaced our ladder truck to provide much needed fire protection in and around the City.
“The list of accomplishments continues with the addition of the Splash Park through a partnership with the Dahlonega Sunrise Rotary, expansion of the Senior Center with a Community Development Block Grant and much needed upgrades to various public works and road department equipment,” he said.
Dockery and his wife, Krista, have three children.  He can be reached at chris.dockery@lumpkincounty.gov and by phone at 706-864-3742.

MILLER, DISTRICT 1

Miller said prayerful consideration, encouragement from family and friends and the endorsements of both  Dockery and Dahlonega Mayor Sam Norton were all factors in his decision  to run for reelection. But three goals he would still like to see accomplished sealed the deal.
“As a small business owner, I know the challenges that exist in the current economic environment and will work towards three goals—maximizing the opportunities created by the Gateway Corridor, both in terms of business opportunities and jobs for our friends and family; continuing to grow the ‘Wine, Weddings and Song’ theme to preserve the rural nature of the unincorporated areas, while at the same time providing opportunity for quality economic growth; and finally, emphasizing workforce development with the school system and current employers to enable our children to have the skill sets necessary for them to stay in our community,” he said.
The commitment of Northeast Georgia Health System to build a new hospital in Lumpkin County will be a “a needed shot in the arm for our local economic development and provide an opportunity for our children to work and stay here,” Miller said.
Miller is the owner of real estate and healthcare consulting firm MPA Holdings, LLC and a professor of healthcare administration in the School of Business at Brenau University. He serves on Northeast Georgia Health System Advisory Board and Chair of the Lumpkin County Board of Health.
He said he knows “what it will take to maximize the opportunity this presents and will work towards ensuring we have quality healthcare in Lumpkin County for decades to come.”
Miller attended the University of Missouri-Columbia and finished his doctoral work at the Virginia Medical Center and Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, Calif.
He is active in the community, having served as the treasurer of the Friends of the Dahlonega Gold Museum, currently serving on the Board of Enotah-CASA and a member of Sunshine Rotary. Most recently he appeared in a production at the historic Holly Theater.
He and his wife Sue have two grown children.
In his role as county commissioner Miller has been involved with Community Helping Place’s #LUMPKINMATTERS, a community grant that gives residents the opportunity to become familiar with the county’s many non-profit organizations.
Completion of the Frogtown Fire Station and staffing it through the SAFER grant; passage of the TSPLOST; improving relations with the city of Dahlonega; and continuing county services while rolling back taxes by a full mil are all things Miller is proud of being a part of, he said.
If reelected, he said, his goal is to “keep Lumpkin County moving in the right direction.”
Miller can be contacted at david.miller@lumpkincounty.gov or by phone at 706-864-3742.

MAYFIELD,DISTRICT 2

Mayfield, always direct, said his decision to run for a second term is, “because there is more to do in the service of Lumpkin County. The job is not complete.”
Mayfield ran in 2016 on a platform of economic development, especially along the Highway 400 corridor. Growing the tax digest to offset the senior tax exemption was one of Mayfield’s goals, and, he said, “for the first time in years the tax digest is indeed growing again.”
Mayfield claims to be a Lumpkin Countian, “but due to [my] family relocating to avoid confrontation with federal authorities over tax owed on some locally produced alcoholic beverages,” he was actually born in Florida, he said.
His family did return to Lumpkin County in time for Mayfield to graduate from Lumpkin County High in 1979. He was a Star Student, Honor Graduate and multi-sport athlete.
Mayfield entered what was then North Georgia College’s Corp of Cadets, but ran out of money. He quit school and went to work first for the City of Dahlonega Water Department, then Burlington Industries to earn funds to return to school, but decided to enlist in the U.S. Army instead. The military was a career option he had always considered, he said.
He spent five years in Germany and Hawaii before returning home to marry and raise a family. He also joined the National Guard, which helped provide for his growing family and allowed him to pursue a vocation he enjoyed, he said.
“I never thought it would last 30 years,” he added.
During that 30 years Mayfield’s Guard Unit, Charlie Company, 1/121 Infantry (Mechanized) deployed to serve in Iraq. Mayfield—then a 1st sergeant—lost not a single soldier during that deployment. The Army bestowed many decorations and awards on Mayfield, including the Spirit of Anne Frank Outstanding Citizen Award for his, and his men’s, part in getting life-saving surgery for Baby Noor, a story that made national news in 2008.
Mayfield eventually did return to college in 1988. After graduation he taught math to both remedial and gifted students at LCHS. He also coached cross country for seven seasons, and served as assistant coach for boys soccer, winning nine Region Championships.
During this time he continued his education, earning a Master’s Degree in technology and learning in 2011 from Western Governor’s University, and a Specialist Degree in leadership from the University of North Georgia in 2014.
In addition to coaching and classroom duties, Mayfield has worked in IT and served as CTAE (Career, Technology and Agricultural Education) Director.
He has twice been named Teacher of the Year, and currently serves as Assistant Principal at Lumpkin County Middle School, as well as School System District Safety Coordinator. He also works two nights per week at Mountain Education Charter High School.
Mayfield has three sons and a daughter. His youngest son is working full time and enrolled in Mountain Ed.
Mayfield said he is proud of what he has been a part of accomplishing since taking office in 2017—adoption of the Gateway Corridor Regulations, ensuring development on the Highway 400 corridor “will reflect the spirit of our community and provide a very appealing and pleasing to the eye experience for all who enter Lumpkin County;” construction of a new hospital at the end of the 400 corridor; extension of water lines; a sewer system poised to be implemented; completion of a fire station approved by voters over 10 years ago; and a new library soon to open.
He also said he’s proud to have voted to lower the millage rate each year and to roll property taxes back an entire mill this year.
Mayfield said he wants to continue to be a part of the progress that has been made.
“The Board of Commissioners is currently working on plans to build a swimming pool, expand park and rec facilities, upgrade some of our single lane roads, put more firefighters in more stations and to continue to cut property taxes as our digest grows,” he said.
Mayfield can be contacted at bobby.mayfield@lumpkincounty.gov or by phone at 706-864-3742. You can also visit his Facebook page, voteformayfield.