The Columbia County Commission consists of five members: the chairman, and four commissioners, one from each district. It is reasonable for voters to expect that each member of the commission should remain independent and free of any influence when deciding on the business of the people.
While researching the candidates, I learned that District 1 commissioner candidate Doug Duncan works as vice president of MAU Inc., a staffing company in Augusta. I also learned that one of our sitting commissioners, Trey Allen, who is not up for election this year, also works for the same company.
If Doug Duncan gets elected, we would have two commissioners working for the same for-profit company. This would certainly put the independence of the commission in question and may skew what should otherwise be an autonomous decision-making process.
On a final note, the county commission has had two seats out of five filled by citizens who have lived in the same subdivision for the past twelve or more years. Commission Chairman, Ron Cross, and the candidate for commissioner District 1, Doug Duncan, who would replace sitting Commissioner Ron Thigpen; are all residents of the same subdivision.
Given the growth of Columbia County, I am concerned that other neighborhoods are going unrepresented.
We need diversity and independent points of view to govern better, and in electing our next commissioners it is important that we achieve that greatest range of representation for all the people.