Controlling county taxes and creating a long-term plan for Columbia County were the concerns that Ron Cross shared at a press conference Tuesday as he announced his candidacy for Columbia County commission chairman. He will face Andy Kingery in the primaries; both are Republicans.
After thanking the crowd of about 30 people in attendance and moving the wooden podium closer to the audience, he shared his concerns and goals for the future of Columbia County.
"I think that Columbia County needs a detailed and structured long-term plan for future development," Mr. Cross said. "We are a young and prospering county (and) we need to promote healthy industry."
He stressed the importance of promoting planned development while protecting green space in the county.
"I think the county has to take a leadership role and provide a balance between the two entities."
Mr. Cross commented on the population growth and the increased amount of government spending in Columbia County.
"I will not vote for an increase in the millage rate in the next four years if I am elected," Mr. Cross said.
He also proposed placing a moratorium on the controversial stormwater utility - which he called the "rain tax" - in Columbia County.
"I am in favor of a moratorium on the fee until another solution can be found. (The stormwater utility) that is in place right now is not good for the overall county," he said.
He also spoke of creating a chairman's council to get public input on county-wide issues.
"This would be a group of non-political people to get more involvement from the grass roots. I think this would be a good addition to the county."
He said he was concerned about the county as a whole and this was one of the reasons he chose to run for the seat.
"I have been encouraged by the support I've had so far," Mr. Cross said. "It has really been gratifying."
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