Glynn County Commissioner Mark Stambaugh will face opposition in both the primary and general election this year as three other candidates qualified to run for the At-Large Post 1 seat last week.
Running in the Republican primary are Stambaugh, Jane Fraser and David O’Quinn. Running unopposed on the Democratic side is Julian Smith.
Stambaugh, the incumbent, is finishing out his first term on the commission this year, and hopes to be re-elected to another term.
“There’s a million things to come. Fiscal responsibility, and I fought not to increase the millage the way we did, and I’m going to continue that,” Stambaugh said.
Last year, Stambaugh said he was planning to introduce an ordinance or amendment that would require limited liability companies reveal the individuals who own the company if they want to do any business with the county government. He plans to follow through with it if re-elected, he said.
When it comes to economic growth, Stambaugh said it’s mostly commission-driven, pointing to Canal Crossing and the growth of the Brunswick-Golden Isles Airport. He plans to look at changing the Brunswick and Glynn County Development Authority to be more effective in that regard.
Making the Glynn County Recreation and Parks Department more efficient is also one of his goals, and he said he’ll continue advocating for the privatization of all or part of the department.
Running against Stambaugh in the primary is Fraser, president of the Stuttering Foundation of America. Fraser took over the foundation, a national nonprofit that aims to help people who stutter, in 1982.
Fraser said her knowledge of county ordinances and structure gives her an edge, along with her experience running the foundation. She said she is an advocate for managed growth, and added the county needs more planning for future development.
One of her major goals is to have the city and county cooperate to attract more non-tourism-based jobs, which she said would improve the local economy.
Persistent county-wide drainage problems is one of her priorities, as is improving animal welfare, cutting spending and working with the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission to expedite projects important to local taxpayers.
O’Quinn, owner of Corinthian Trading, is also running for the seat as a Republican. O’Quinn moved away from Glynn County after graduating from Glynn Academy, but returned to start his own business. Growing that business required fiscal responsibility, which he can put to good use in the county government, he said.
He has five priorities: water and sewer, infrastructure, public safety and crime, managed growth and economic development.
“You could look at any one of them and say quality of life is affected throughout the community,” O’Quinn said. “Everything affects all of us, regardless of where we live in the community.”
Traffic needs to be a larger consideration when the county commission is making decisions, he said. Not just on St. Simons Island, but also on the mainland along U.S. highways 17 and 341 and Ga. Highway 303.
Economic development should also be handled differently on the mainland than on St. Simons Island, O’Quinn said. The island already has a thriving tourism industry, but the mainland needs more varied forms of industry if it’s going to continue to grow, he said.
On the Democratic side is a retired professor who has taught at multiple universities. Smith has owned a home in Glynn County since 1993. He served on multiple boards in Durham, N.H., including the town council.
One of Smith’s focuses is making sure residents are safe in the event of another dangerous storm. The county doesn’t have any plans for hurricanes other than evacuation, which he believes isn’t good enough.
He also takes issue with the restrictive nature of the commission’s public comment period. Only three can speak per meeting, and only for five minutes each. A person can sign up for public comment four times a year, and has a limited time to sign up to speak before meetings.
The policy is a barrier for people who do not constantly follow county business, he said.
Smith wants to reduce the county’s use of consent agendas and work with the JWSC toward a solution to problems involving septic tanks, he said.
Election day for primaries is May 22. The general election is Nov. 6. The last day a person can register to vote in the primary is April 23, and Oct. 9 for the general election. For more information, call the Glynn County Board of Elections at 912-554-7060.