Albany -- A political newcomer is challenging incumbent Dougherty County Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard. John Burr says the County is spending too much money on aesthetic improvements downtown and not enough on the elderly and poor.
Jeff "Bodine" Sinyard says his experience is needed to bring new jobs and businesses to Albany and to deter more manufacturers from shutting down. Incumbent Jeff Sinyard says one of Dougherty County's largest hurdles is preventing more manufacturers from shutting down. "Manufacturing right now is probably at the lowest it's ever been in our country's modern era."
Sinyard says it will take a good transportation network, more industrial sites, a skilled workforce and sound infrastructure to lure prospective businesses to town and keep current ones here. "Once we get them here, we have to utilize all of our positives to let them know we can put your plant here and you can compete with the rest of the world."
Sinyard says his decades of experience as economic development commission chairman will allow him to continue growing jobs and businesses. He says he's work to bring new businesses, like CallTech and Flint River Services, to town and fought to keep the marine base off the BRAC closure list.
Sinyard says he supported the growth of auto row and is excited about a superstore coming to east Albany. "I believe once you get the right anchor and right shopping center in place, more businesses will come then more people will come."
But Sinyard's challenger, John Burr, said Sinyard and the entire county commission have overlooked east Albany -- especially its roads and residents. "All the alleys need to be paved. When you go up to northwest Albany, the alleys look like thoroughfares over there. But the people of east Albany put in just as much money as the people in northwest Albany. We much have a level playing field."
Burr opposes high dollar sales tax projects such as the downtown hotel and the Oglethorpe Arch. "They are frivolously spending our money."
He says the law needs to be change to allow sales tax money to be spent on senior citizens and the poor. "When it comes to the senior citizens and the poor people, they want to know where is the money going to come from. All this money comes from taxpayers."
And Burr suggests building a canning or water bottling plant in Albany to create new jobs. "Why not create jobs here for our people who are graduating from ASU, Darton and Albany Tech?" said Burr.
So when voters head to the polls to choose a Dougherty County commission chairman, they'll have to decide between a twenty year politician who says experience is key to growing Albany and a political newcomer who says its time for a change.
John Burr is a reverend and a retired CPA and engineer. Jeff Sinyard is the owner of Adams Exterminators.