Macomson to run for commission chairman

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Franklin County Commissioner Jason Macomson has announced he plans to run for commission chairman.

  • Commissioner Jason Macomson (center, during his swearing-in ceremony in 2017 as District 2 Commissioner) has announced he will run for chairman of the Franklin County Board of Commissioners.
    Commissioner Jason Macomson (center, during his swearing-in ceremony in 2017 as District 2 Commissioner) has announced he will run for chairman of the Franklin County Board of Commissioners.
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Franklin County Commissioner Jason Macomson has announced he plans to run for commission chairman.

 “I would like to take this opportunity to officially announce my candidacy as the Republican nominee for chairman of the Franklin County Board of Commissioners,” Macomson said in a letter released Sunday.  “Over the last three years, I’ve had the pleasure of representing the Lavonia District as well as all of Franklin County on the Board of Commissioners.  It has been a great learning experience, and our county has tackled many new challenges.  I love Franklin County, I’m excited to see us continue to grow and prosper, and I believe that I have the experience and leadership needed to guide us into the future.”

The chairman’s seat, currently held by Thomas Bridges, is up for election this year, as is Macomson’s District 2 seat.

A native of Lavonia, Macomson said he’s live in Franklin County his entire life. He served on the Lavonia City Council for four years, from 2003-07.

Macomson is a veterinarian and has worked at Lavonia Animal Hospital in some capacity for about 34 years. He is also a former high school teacher and public school administrator, teaching science for seven years at Franklin County High School and serving five years as an assistant principal at Franklin County Middle School.

“In addition to my terms on the Board of Commissioners and the Lavonia City Council, I’ve also served on various community boards, including the Board of Elections and the Northeast Georgia Animal Shelter Board,” Macomson said.  “I enjoy public service and have made a conscious effort to be involved on some level in serving my community for my entire adult life.”

Macomson said he helped develop Lavonia’s city website while he served on the city council and sought to have the city’s code of ordinances published online. He said he will make doing the same for the county code of ordinances a priority.

Open communication between citizens and county officials, elected and appointed, is vital, Macomson said. He said he’s worked to communicate through social media and print.

“The chair of the Board of Commissioners bears the responsibility for setting the agenda and leading the rest of the board in the important work of the county,” he said.  “First and foremost, I believe strongly in honest, transparent government that is accessible and works for everyone. Transparency has been a hallmark of my service on both the Lavonia City Council and the Franklin County Board of Commissioners.”

Those efforts will continue as chairman, Macomson said, and he will seek to improve public services by expanding the documents and resources that are available online on the county’s website.

  Macomson said he also wants a close working relationship between commissioners,  constitutional officers, Franklin County’s cities and the school board.

“As chairman, I will reach out to each of these different stakeholders in our community and involve everyone in our work,” he said. “We will be much stronger as a county if we are all united and working together with a common purpose and mission.  Poor relationships between the county and other elected and appointed officials has been a fair and valid criticism in the past, and I think there are many instances where this has created unnecessary obstacles to getting the most important work done, which is that of helping improve the lives of our citizens.”

Macomson said his governing philosophy “is guided by strong Republican principles,” which means safeguarding the county’s finances is at the forefront.

While the county’s finances have been improving, the county still has a lack of adequate reserves, he said.

“I believe strongly in low taxes, and I will support lowering the tax rate whenever possible,” Macomson said.  “We need to closely examine the budget each year, set priorities, and trim spending so that the dual goals of low taxes and healthy financial reserves can be accomplished and maintained without sacrificing public services.”

 Macomson said he supports a proposal to increase the property tax exemption for seniors and a special purpose local option sales tax for transportation (T-SPLOST).

“The TSPLOST would help provide much needed revenue for repairing our roads through a special one-cent sales tax that more fairly distributes the tax burden among everyone, including out-of-county visitors,” he said.

Macomson said that the board of commissioners have to deal with tough decisions on how to spend county resources. Those tough calls include paying to monitor the Georgia Renewable Power Plant near Carnesville and what private roads to adopt.

“When we are faced with decisions about which private roads to adopt, we have to continually balance the needs of private property owners with the needs of the county as a whole and consider what course of action would lead to the greatest public good,” he said.

Macomson said he also will lead the search for grants to expand broadband and cable access in the county.

The county also needs to plan for growth and look for ways to meet the demand for housing, he said.

Part of planning for growth is looking at zoning laws.

“Zoning is never going to be perfect or popular, but it is an asset for helping determine and ensure the best uses of land,” Macomson said. “The current board is working to apply the recent lessons of the Georgia Renewable Power Plant to better plan for industrial growth.   We desire industry and we want to promote industrial expansion, but at the same time, we have to be selective about the types of industry we recruit.  We need to work to actively exclude those that would jeopardize our environment, depress property values, and detract from the rural way of life that we enjoy and have historically maintained.

“We live in a wonderful county and have an excellent group of leaders, and I want to see us continuing to succeed and thrive, while at the same time improving the quality of life of everyone who lives here,” he said.  “I appreciate your consideration, encouragement, and support, and I am excited and hopeful for the opportunity to serve Franklin County in a new capacity.”