Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Experience Issue in Race for Seat; Chapman, Johnson Want At-Large Post

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Experience Issue in Race for Seat; Chapman, Johnson Want At-Large Post

Article excerpt

Byline: Terry Dickson, Times-Union staff writer

Jeff Chapman figures Jane Johnson, his opponent for an at-large seat on the Glynn County Commission, would make a good commissioner as long as she sticks with what she knows.

"I think she'd make a good island commissioner," he said. "She would work hard."

As a lifelong resident of the county, Chapman said he is better qualified to fill the at-large seat up for election.

Johnson counters that she already has worked hard on issues and causes that work on Glynn County's barrier islands and its mainland.

She said she is well-acquainted with countywide issues and that her involvement with Residents United for Planning and Action has helped make her more aware of how government works or doesn't work. She also has been involved with the Glynn County Water and Sewer Advisory Committee, Friends of the Parks and African-American Heritage Coalition.

"We're more alike than we are different on both sides of the marsh," Johnson said. "We want our neighborhoods to be safe and protected. We all want to pay fair taxes."

From Chapman's mainland neighborhood, he left his mostly rural District 4 post to run for the at-large position. He defeated two-term incumbent Fred Tullos in the Aug. 20 Republican primary and did so with plenty of island votes. No Democrats challenged Johnson in the primary. The Nov. 5 election has no other contested races for Glynn County Commission.

"I've lived here 43 years," Chapman said. "I know a great number of people in this community and believe I have a wider view."

Until lately, Johnson has focused on St. Simons Island issues, including her service on the board of directors of Residents United for Planning and Action, Chapman said.

"Even as a district commissioner, I've tried to initiate measures to benefit the whole community," he said.

He is pushing for elimination of the 35-cents toll on the St. Simons Island causeway, a cause many have given up as lost. He also pushed for parity in the water and sewer rates the city charges county residents, an issue resolved Oct. 3.

Of Johnson's campaign promise to be a full-time commissioner, Chapman said, "She must be under some kind of delusion if she thinks it could be something other than full-time. I spend most of my waking hours answering the needs of the public."

Indeed, after getting off the phone with one constituent, Chapman walked into a restaurant where someone else hit him up asking for a street light.

It is a commissioner's duty to help constituents and, if the request is out of his reach, at least point them in the right direction, Chapman said.

He pledged to continue to work to remove excessive taxes and fees, implement cost savings through more effective management and push for better maintenance of county facilities.

Johnson said the County Commission has done little to protect taxpayer investments by neglecting public buildings. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.