All On Georgia Paulding (AOG Paulding) sent 8 questions to the candidates running for Post 4 commissioner. This is the third of 4 articles we’re posting with the candidate’s answers. Dan Boles (DB) is one of the 4 candidates that qualified to run. The following are the answers he provided to AOG Paulding, unedited.
Dan Boles is the COO & Co-Owner of a national marketing agency and Co-Founder of Peach State Overland. He and his wife live in North Paulding with their three children who attend Sammy McClure Middle and Shelton Elementary Schools. Dan earned his Marketing Degree in 2003 from Kennesaw State University, and hopes to use his education, experience and successes in marketing and his servant leadership skills to move Paulding forward, together.
AOG Paulding – 1. Why should the voters elect you? What separates you from the other candidates?
DB – I can relate to most Post 4 residents; my wife, three kids and I are a very typical, very busy, middle-class family. Like most of our Post 4 neighbors, we didn’t live in Paulding County 10-15-20 years ago. I think it’s time for someone who represents us to be part of our local government. We have just as much to offer as taxpayers and citizens as those who are lifelong residents. Additionally, I have a vested interest in the future of this community. My kids go to school here, and I want there to be something here for them when they start families of their own in a few years.
AOG Paulding – 2. What do you see as the #1 issue facing Post 4 today? If elected, what would you do to address and resolve this issue?
DB – It’s really two-problems in one. First, the lionshare of the tax burden is on the backs of homeowners, and that’s just not sustainable. Do the research; bedroom communities do not last; they go bankrupt. We can not afford that. It will have a traumatic impact on thousands of families. Our property taxes have been raised two years in a row. Last year alone, our property taxes went up 14%. When does it stop? Paulding County has been named one of the 100 fastest growing counties in the United States. Second, Commercial & Industrial Growth is flat. Sales Tax revenue is flat. And we have a reputation as being anti-business. We have to open the doors to the business community and proclaim we’re OPEN FOR BUSINESS. That means many things must change here in Paulding. It starts with doing whatever it takes to welcome new businesses to our community.
AOG Paulding – 3. If elected, what would your other top priorities be?
- Eliminating outside interests and wasteful spending.
- Economic Development & Workforce Development
- Executing a Common Sense Plan for Growth – Infrastructure: Roads, Water/Sewer, Utilities, Schools etc. – no more $300,000 plans that sit on a shelf and collect dust.
- Turning the airport into an economic driver instead of a money-pit.
- Increasing the salaries and retirement options for our Law Enforcement & First Responders so that we’re competitive with neighboring counties.
AOG Paulding – 4. Where do you see Post 4 in 5 years? As Commissioner what would you do to further this vision?
DB – I see the “County of Tomorrow” – a thriving county of vibrant communities working together to become the place where Georgia chooses to Live, Learn, Work, and Play; a revitalized Downtown Dallas, where people can enjoy a beer at MacCracken’s Irish Pub before they take in a show at the Dallas Theater, a locally sourced dinner from a farm-to-table restaurant in New Hope, a retired couple in town for the weekend enjoying wine with friends at a vineyard next door to a lovely Bed & Breakfast in Burnt Hickory, a renewed interest and healthy outdoor economy as a result of people getting outdoors and exploring Paulding & Sheffield Forest, High Shoals Falls, the Silver Comet Trail and kayaking the Richland Creek Reservoir, and young families stopping for breakfast at Chick-Fil-A on their way to a new outdoor park in North Paulding. I see a modernized water/sewer system that is easier to maintain, and more people with Fiber Internet Access. I see communities built around our schools, and employers who have a strong partnership with our higher education partners and custom education and training programs so that our kids and grandkids will have jobs waiting for them here in Paulding. I see a thriving business community, and entrepreneurs starting their businesses in Paulding. And I see a profitable airport, surrounded by 3-4 employers who have added hundreds if not thousands of jobs to the Paulding Economy. As Commissioner, I will do more than just pass laws and motions. I will also take the executive function of office seriously and support our Economic Development by doing all I can to remind the world that “Paulding County is one stop from the rest of the world, and we’re open for business!”
AOG Paulding – 5. Many of Post 4 constituents spend a lot of time in other counties working and shopping. What would you do as Commissioner to recruit more industries and businesses to our area? How would you broaden the tax base?
See number 4 above; this really truly gets back to understanding the BOC is both the legislative and executive branch of our government. As a marketer by trade with no political ties (good or bad), and a background working with executives and running businesses, I understand what CEO’s and CFO’s are looking for when they evaluate locating their business in a community. Our easiest and most effective area in which to broaden the tax base is Commercial and Industrial. Not only will it broaden our tax base, but it will bring jobs, and ancillary spending with it, which also means more sales tax revenue. What good is a SPLOST when 86% of your workforce leaves the county and taxes their sales tax spending with them? We need leaders willing to remind the world that “Paulding County is one stop from the rest of the world, and we’re open for business!” I’ll gladly take on that task.
AOG Paulding – 6. Post 4 is a heavily residential area. How many new developments would you be willing to allow?
DB – I don’t think “how many new developments would you be willing to allow” is the appropriate question to be asking ourselves; rather it should be does the development make sense? It’s not about volume, but about the impact it will have on our infrastructure, schools, traffic, and quality of life. Does it fit within the long-term vision and plan for where we are going as a county? And is the developer willing to work with the county to help build out the needed infrastructure to support said development? The residential developers I have spoken with seem more than willing to partner with Paulding to do so. Does it add value to Paulding County, or does it burden Paulding County? That is the lense I would evaluate residential development through.
AOG Paulding – 7. What is the one area that you see Post 4 is lacking in? What would do to fix that?
DB – Where to begin? I guess the thing we lack more than anything is a Chick-Fil-A. I think I’ll work on recruiting a Chick-Fil-A, because man I love me some Chick-Fil-A Sweet Tea and those Waffle Fries. Ha! On a serious note though, I’d have to say a sustainable jobs growth is probably the most lacking in Post 4. Look at our neighbors in Johns Creek and Alpharetta; very similar to Post 4, but easily 15-25 years ahead of us in jobs growth and development. When you consider the great home values, the great schools, and that nearly ½ of Post 4 residents have at least a Bachelor’s Degree, it’s easy to see why Post 4 would be a great fit for several business and industry sectors to choose Paulding County as their home, making it an entrepreneurial and economic powerhouse. Additionally, Georgia is bursting with opportunity for communities willing to take the lead in Film and Production, Tourism, Beer and Wine. Our current commissioner slashed the Economic Development budget last year. I’ll work with the BOC to restore a commitment supporting Economic Development and effectively marketing what makes Paulding such a great, beautiful community.
AOG Paulding – 8. What do you think of the decisions the BOC has made over the last several years? What would you have done differently?
DB – The last four years have meant… increasing property values, usually without a millage rate rollback, increasing property tax rates, and increasing school taxes. Meanwhile, commercial and industrial property values remain flat which indicates there’s no growth in either sector. Sales Tax revenue remains flat, indicating no growth in retail sales. In other words, the county budget is largely on the back of homeowners. Making it worse, our workforce is leaving the county in increasing numbers. Four years ago the DOL estimated 74% of Paulding Residents commuted outside the county for work. Two years ago it was 80%. Today it’s 86%. What would I do differently? For starters, instead of focusing so much time suing the county that elected me, and doing everything I could to destroy a small, regional airport, I would pay more attention to the taxpayers, the business owners, and the needs of those who elect me. Let’s kick the outside interests out of our government and declare once and for all that Paulding County is OPEN FOR BUSINESS!
Thanks for taking the time to read my responses. I encourage everyone to visit electdanboles.com to learn more. Get to know your candidates. All of them! And please, make sure you know when and where to vote! Paulding County’s Board of Elections announced several changes on March 23rd. Your voter info (polling locations, dates, times, etc.) can be found at http://mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do