To the editor and voters of DeKalb County:

I’m Mike Watson, a small government, pro-life and fiscally conservative Republican. I’m running to represent all of DeKalb County as your next Commissioner for the Southeast District.

Our county has some major issues that need to be immediately addressed, specifically our crumbling and overcrowded jail and a backlog of county tile and drain work to name just two. If we continue to ignore these issues, it will lead to a major increase in taxes, something that I am opposed to and this is the main reason why I am running to be your next commissioner. With my years of public service, I am a proven leader with a vision for the future, who understands how all the pieces fit together. I have executive experience and the planning skills to make things work. I pride myself on being a pro-active leader willing to hear all sides, build consensus, make well thought out decisions, and won’t “kick the can down the road.” DeKalb County’s future success will come from collaboration, communication and cooperation between county government and every city, town, elected official, department head, business and community stakeholder in the county.

I’m not only running on the Republican ticket, I’m an active member of the DeKalb County Republicans, precinct chairman, and my wife is active in the Republican Women’s Club. I’m committed to making DeKalb County government efficient, effective, responsive and accountable to you! I believe the less intrusion government has in your daily life, the better off we are. I believe government must be customer service driven, treating all with respect, mindful that as elected officials, we work for the public. I’m committed to long term planning and responsible spending policies that will keep everyone’s taxes low.

I’ve worked hard during my 19 years of government and community service and during my campaign to build relationships with citizens, community leaders and other elected officials, relationships of mutual respect, common goals and open communication that will let us work together to make DeKalb County an even greater place to live, work, play, start a business, and create jobs. I have a track record of leadership in the county going back to 2003, when as a Chamber of Commerce board member I started a countywide economic development initiative, reaching out to leaders from every city and town. Months of collaboration and planning resulted in forming the DeKalb County Economic Development Partnership, which has had a huge positive impact for everyone.

I believe that making wise decisions requires listening to the concerns, ideas and challenges of everyone. To this end, I will be highly focused on being accessible to you, to our elected officials and county leaders alike. I’ve secured office space near the courthouse and will have open office hours weekly. I don’t have the responsibility or time commitment of running a business and will make county business my primary focus.

The current County Council has done a great job of managing county finances. I have a lot of respect for Commissioner Bill Hartman and the job he’s doing. I am excited to work with Bill, the incoming NE commissioner, Council members, elected officials and department heads to develop county wide comprehensive plans for capital projects, managing county assets and finances. I believe that sound business planning principles and wise spending will save your tax dollars.

Finally, I believe in the counsel of many and that there is room at the table for all opinions. I believe we need to leverage the energy, enthusiasm and forward thinking of our young community leaders who understand what it takes to make DeKalb County a vibrant, welcoming place where our kids and grandkids want to stay and raise families. I’m excited about bringing a new approach to governing to DeKalb County. I appreciate your support and ask for your vote!

Michael (Mike) Watson

Auburn 

Candidate for DeKalb County Commissioner, Southeast District

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