Due to the social distancing guidelines, we have converted our traditional AllOnGeorgia candidate video interviews into short questionnaires. Each candidate in the race was provided an identical questionnaire with the same deadline. Answers were not edited in any way.
The Primary Election was moved to June 9th.
The last day to register to vote in the primary is May 11th.
Early voting begins May 18th.
To sign up to volunteer as a poll worker, click here.
Please provide a brief bio on yourself.
I am Jeff Coley, I am running for County Commissioner as a Republican. I am a local business owner and have been self employed for over 20 years. I grew up in Trion, where I attended church and school, I graduated THS. My family has worked in our community for many years. My parents, Leon & Sue Coley, owned and operated Flowers N Such Florist & Monuments (in Pennville) for over 25 years. My brother, Scott, has owned and operated Coley & Norton Mechanical for over 20 years. I am married to Marcy and have two daughters, Rachel & Rebecca Coley.
What are 3 strengths of which our county can be proud? Why do you see these as strengths?
1. I believe our peaceful, quite, rural countryside & “small hometown feel” is a strength our county should be proud of.
2. The natural beauty & attraction of our rivers, streams and mountains are another.
3. The kindness, generosity and hospitality of most our residents are second to none.
I see these as strengths because they can’t be found just anywhere these days. These are some of the things that make me proud to call Chattooga County my home.
What are 3 needs that must be priorities for Chattooga County to address?
Our infrastructure as a whole.
1. Our budget must be balanced and our finances stabilized.
2. Our roads, ditches and right of ways must be repaired & maintained.
3. We need a new jail.
If (re-)elected, what would you hope would be key accomplishments during your years of service?
I would like to bring our county back to a point of financial stability. I want to widen some of our narrow back roads, making them safer for our citizens. I want to see our “bad condition” roads paved and lines painted on the roads. I want our ditches cleaned out and all the litter/ trash cleaned up and maintained on our right of ways. I want a new jail. I want the old jail area to be turned into a parking lot for our courthouse, so when we have court the parking spaces of our downtown businesses will not be occupied by noncustomers.
What are your views on the county’s current budget and spending practices? Do any departments need additional appropriations to better serve the citizens?
I think spending is out of control in many areas and every department needs a complete evaluation. I’m sure some are under funded, like some of our Fire Departments that are forced to operate with outdated gear. They need our help.
Are county taxes too high, about right or pleasantly low?
Our taxes for years were fairly low and that created a draw for people to buy land and build in our county, but that is no longer the case. Considering the amenities our county has to offer, they are too high.
Describe how you see a county commissioner’s role in the daily operations of the county government and what kind of oversight should a Commissioner have over county employees?
I think the Commissioner should be very hands on and should lead by example. Having a positive attitude, a strong work ethic and a genuine love & concern for our county and it’s people. Our tax payers deserve performance and results from each & every department.
How can the office of Sole Commissioner be more transparent about activities and finances?
I plan on having a complete and thorough forensic audit done and the results made public. People deserve to know where our money has been spent and where we stand on bills and debts. I welcome an open door policy and when we hold public meetings, your questions will be encouraged and answered to the best of my ability.
Will any other employment or business venture in which you are vested present a conflict of interest for you as a County Commissioner? Please explain your answer.
a) In the event of an unforeseen conflict of interest arising in your official duties, how would you handle such a conflict to ensure maintenance of public trust?
NO, not in any way, I won’t allow it. If an unforeseen conflict arises, I will consult with our county attorney at that time.
Is there anything else you would like the public to know about you?
I have worked hard since I was 14 years old. I have experience in politics as former City Council and Mayor (Lyerly) where I had proven positive results. I have handled several multi million dollar projects, from the ground up, working with SBA, USDA, various other lenders, architects, engineers, grant writers and construction contractors. I have worked with many agencies and lenders in various city, county, state and federal positions to accomplish my needs and goals. I work well with others, from all walks of life. I set high goals and work hard to achieve them. I have a vision and high goals set for our county. If you give me this opportunity , I will not disappoint.
I am a conservative Republican who is Pro-God, Pro-Family, Pro-Life and Pro 2nd Amendment.
What is your position on expanding to a Board of Commissioners if the public declared that is what they’d like instead of a Sole Commissioner?
If that is what the public wants, I would not stand in the way of their decisions. However, I believe there are pros & cons to doing so. I 100% believe in Democracy and the will of the people. Public officials work for the public.