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District 3 Commission Candidates Identify Biggest Problems Facing Gwinnett

The four candidates for Gwinnett County Commission District 3 answer questions submitted by Patch readers.

Next month, voters in Gwinnett County District 3 will decide if Mike Beaudreau, Tommy Hunter, Mike Korom or Jerry Oberholtzer will serve as the next District 3 county commissioner.

Patch asked each of the candidates to answer a series of questions relating to current political issues. The questionnaires were based in part on questions submitted by readers. Patch did not limit the length of the responses. Each candidate's answers are presented unedited and in their entirety.

Candidate:  Mike Beaudreau
Occupation:  national accounts manager
Campaign website:  www.mikebeaudreau.com
Campaign Facebook page:  Mike Beaudreau

Campaign Twitter account: @MikeBeaudreau

7.) What do you see as the three biggest problems facing Gwinnett County over the next 10 years?

The three biggest issues facing the county over the next ten years are the water supply, the economy and the lack of trust in government at all levels.

Although the 11th circuit court overruled the draconian decision by Judge Magnuson that would have resulted in the virtual elimination of Lake Lanier as the county’s water supply, it also ordered further studies on the authority of the Corps of Engineers to regulate the drinking water supply from the lake.  These studies, plus the possibility of additional litigation pose a threat to the county’s water supply.

The county has been proactive in encouraging water conservation and being good stewards of the water in Lake Lanier.  We must continue our efforts to ensure the use of the lake as our drinking water source.

The economy continues to be an issue, both at a local and national level.  If there is a silver lining for the county, it’s that we’ve managed to have the lowest unemployment rate of the core metro counties for the last three years.  Fortune 500 company NCR relocated to Duluth in the middle of the recession. The county managed to keep its triple-triple A bond rating even as our nation’s credit rating was reduced. 

All of this was made possible by the efforts of the county and our partners, including Partnership Gwinnett, the Community Improvement Districts, and our cities.  We must continue to be proactive in bringing high-paying jobs to the county and fostering an environment that supports entrepreneurialism.

The citizens’ trust in government is at an all-time low.  At the county level, we’ve had the resignation of three commissioners over the last two years.  At the state legislature, there is an ongoing discussion over lobbyist gifts and expense report improprieties.  Nationally, only 15% approve of the job Congress is doing. 

Part of this is undoubtedly due to the strain people are going through as a result of the economy.  Another part is due to the class warfare policies adopted by the current President and the debate over the role of government that frames the 2012 elections. 

I am a small government conservative who has never voted to raise your taxes.  I’ve never taken a campaign contribution from a developer.  I’ve voted against spending county money on things that I believe are not a proper function of the government.  The only way that trust in government will improve is if the people believe that their elected representatives are acting responsibly and ethically.  I am doing my best to answer their call.

Candidate:  Tommy Hunter
Occupation:  civil engineer
Campaign website:  www.ElectTommy.com
Campaign Facebook page:  Elect Tommy Hunter

7.) What do you see as the three biggest problems facing Gwinnett County over the next 10 years?

The declining value of property and the lack of jobs and new business; our transportation system and the ability to move people and commerce effectively; and our limitations in our ability to guarantee plentiful water for people and business.

Candidate:  Mike Korom
Occupation:  independent contractor
Campaign website:  www.mikekorom.com
Campaign Facebook page:  Elect Mike Korom

7.) What do you see as the three biggest problems facing Gwinnett County over the next 10 years?

The biggest three issues facing Gwinnett over the next 10 years will be a growing and vibrant work force and bringing jobs back to Gwinnett.  The second issue is ensuring we have necessary water resources and the third issue will be developing a strong long range effective county land use plan.  

Candidate:  Jerry Oberholtzer
Occupation:  former mayor of Snellville
Campaign website:  www.JerryOberholtzer.com
Campaign Facebook page:  Jerry Oberholtzer

7.) What do you see as the three biggest problems facing Gwinnett County over the next 10 years?

If Gwinnett remains on the same path it is today over the next four years, we can expect difficulty with the following issues:

  1. Keeping the commitment to prosperity and job growth while protecting and strengthening the neighborhoods and communities we’re built on.
  2. Keeping the commitment to maintaining adequate police, firefighters and EMTs that are needed to preserve our quality of life.
  3. Keeping the commitment to low taxes while providing first-rate services to our residents.

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