To the editor:

We had the good pleasure of meeting Mike and Marion Watson when Mike Ley was running for mayor. One quality that immediately struck me about Mike was his commitment and dedication to civic service.

When we recently discovered Mike was running for DeKalb County Commissioner, I’ll have to be honest, like most people, I didn’t fully comprehend what the job entailed. Most of us tend to research our candidates on a national and state level. But as my husband and I began to look into the job of county commissioner, we were reminded that the people we elect to these local positions make important decisions regarding things that affect significantly our daily lives as well. Infrastructure, water supply and even our jail are all issues that our county commissioners have jurisdiction over. The jail for instance, is matter we’ve discovered should have been addressed years ago. The situation is now critical. Mike has devised a workable plan to address this issues that will not only solve our current jail dilemma, but with the least amount of taxpayer burden and allocated expense. Another item which recently came to light is the location for our county’s highway department. The location now considered was revealed to those that would be most affected, (our high school and middle school), through a newspaper article. The schools were never consulted directly. I’ve read Mike’s Facebook page response to this matter. His reasoning demonstrates not only his keen understanding of the issue, but his plan would address it without unnecessary spending and expense.

In recent years, the county has sadly gained a reputation for making decisions without consideration of those most affected. That’s why we find Mike Watson a refreshing breath of fresh air. He’s taken time to speak with the citizens as well as those in authority. It’s also no great secret that the relationship between the county and the cities that make it up has been strained. Part of Mike’s plan as commissioner is to help usher in a new era of cooperation between county and city leadership that will work together in the best interest of the people.

I know some are saying we need younger blood in government. I agree that we certainly wish to encourage our young people to get involved in civic service. But let’s be honest. You can’t qualify to drive in the Indy 500 when you only have a learner’s permit. The job of commissioner notably requires a level of skill and experience that a newcomer simply hasn’t yet acquired. Mike is not only a skilled businessman but has served his community for 18 years in various capacities. Certainly no one could debate his commitment or the improvements he’s helped foster. Mike has been an Auburn City Council representative from 2013-present, he’s the current President of the Auburn Economic Development Commission and he’s the current president of the DeKalb Central Foundation. Mike was also recently appointed to the DeKalb Economic Development Commission by Mayor Mike Ley.

It obvious Mike cares about the people of this county. He will undoubtedly represent our best interest in his decisions. In Mike’s own words, “ I believe government must be efficient, effective, responsive and accountable on every level!”

Please join me in casting your vote for Mike Watson as DeKalb County Commissioner.

Beverly Murray

Auburn

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