Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Candidates Point to Spending, Roadwork; A Native and a Transplant Seek to Lead the County

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Candidates Point to Spending, Roadwork; A Native and a Transplant Seek to Lead the County

Article excerpt

Byline: Terry Dickson, The Times-Union

WAYCROSS -- The battle for the chairmanship of the Ware County Commission pits a native against a transplant who put down deep political roots.

Carlton Corbitt, who served about two years on the County Commission, grew up in Ware County and has lived both inside and outside Waycross.

Marshall Monk, who is finishing his eighth year as a commissioner, first came to Waycross to help a relative move. He never left.

"I have always aspired if I stayed in Ware County government to be the leader,'' Monk said.

Corbitt defeated incumbent Chairman Ralph Tyson in the Republican primary, while Monk ran unopposed as a Democrat.

The election is Tuesday, Nov. 2.

Here is a closer look at each candidate.

CARLTON CORBITT

Corbitt said the top issue this year is holding the line on spending and stopping tax increases.

One way to do that is to make the maximum use of existing resources, he said.

The county and city could make money by investing some special purpose sales tax funds into capturing methane gas from their closed landfills and converting it to energy, Corbitt said.

He also pledged to properly handle the special purpose local option sales tax that will come up for renewal in 2008 after one adopted last year expires.

"I will communicate with the community at large and put together a package [of projects] that will benefit everyone in the city and county,'' he said.

Corbitt referred to the enmity that resulted when an agreement between the city and the county on revenue from the tax was arbitrarily scrapped a few years ago.

"It didn't have to be that way. We can do better working on a common goal,'' he said.

He predicted that residents will continue to demand that road-paving projects be included in those expenditures.

He also wants to divert first-time and young non-violent criminals away from the county jail.

Those young offenders "learn retaliation rather than rehabilitation'' while in jail, he said.

The answer is to provide a work program that would give offenders hope rather than placing them among hardened criminals who teach them how to continue breaking the law, Corbitt said. Among the possibilities is turning the unopened Tri-County Landfill into a recycling center with inmate labor, he said.

Otherwise, the county will continue expanding and filling its jail at an increasingly high cost.

As someone who went to both city and county schools and who has owned property in both the city and the county, Corbitt says he can represent a cross section of residents.

"I've been on both sides of the fence. That's one thing that's so important about the chairman's job. He represents the city constituents and the county constituents,'' Corbitt said.

MARSHALL MONK

As chairman, Monk said he would continue to foster a more cohesive government and to continue the increasingly cooperative relationship with the city. …

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