St. Simons Island resident Mike Haugen announced his candidacy for the Glynn County Commission’s District 2 this week, throwing his hat in the ring with fellow island native Cap Fendig.
District 2 represents St. Simons, Jekyll and Sea islands.
Haugen, 65, said he is a lifelong resident of St. Simons Island and believes he can give the district the representation it needs.
The reason he’s running is to address issues he sees with the county’s handling of Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax 2016 projects.
“I think one of the things that I’m really concerned about is the SPLOST. I’m a big supporter of the SPLOST, but I don’t think it’s being run the way it needs to be,” Haugen said.
He didn’t want to go into what issues he sees this early in the campaign, however.
The county can’t afford to go without SPLOST, he said, because it has been relying on the penny tax for major infrastructure projects.
“The way the SPLOST is done right now, I don’t Glynn County can afford to lose the SPLOST,” Haugen said. “I just think that it needs to be managed better.”
In essence, he said he wanted to restore the public’s faith in the county’s ability to manage SPLOST projects.
He sees the discontent expressed by some island residents with certain projects, such as the roundabout at the intersection of East Beach Causeway and Ocean Boulevard. Like others, he said he had never seen an issue with traffic at the intersection.
Haugen graduated from Glynn Academy in 1972 and has been self-employed since early in his career. Formerly a co-owner of Brogen’s along with current owner Forrest Brown, he’s also owned multiple Mexican restaurants and two package stores on St. Simons Island.
Currently, he manages rentals for their owners.
“I’ve seen a lot of changes, and I want to make St. Simons the best place to live,” Haugen said.
Haugen will face off against Fendig in the general primary on May 19. The last day to register to vote for the primary is April 20.
Candidate qualifying begins March 2 at 9 a.m. and ends March 6 at noon.
To register or to check registration status, visit www.mvp.sos.ga.gov or call the Glynn County Board of Elections at 912-554-7060.