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Posted: March 21, 2010 12:01 a.m.

BOC District 2 - Rickie Corley (R)

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 Former Board of Education member Rickie Corley will seek the 2010 Republican nomination for the District 2 seat on the Newton County Board of Commissioners.

 Corley is a life-long resident of Newton County, served on the BOE for 12 years from 1997 to 2008 and has owned Corley’s Used Cars and Auto Service, located off GA. Highway 162, for more than 35 years.

 Corley said his key issues for District 2 include prompting economic development, reducing traffic grid-lock, increasing safety, increasing accountability and accessibility of the commissioner and being more fiscally responsible.

 "I feel like running the county is kind of like running a business. My business background, training and education makes me qualified for that position. I think I have a lot to offer the BOC. My commitment is to better government and prosperity in Newton County," Corley said. "I feel there is a need for leadership in this district, and I think that I can provide that."

 Corley said his district needs more business in order to lower the tax base burden on residents and to generate additional sales tax revenue.

 "I don’t want Newton County to be a bedroom community. We may never get residents to do all of their shopping here, but we need more commercial growth. Whatever is attracting residents to Atlanta and Rockdale County, we need to get more of it," he said.

 He said grid-lock at intersections continue to present a big problem for residents.

 "If I’m leaving my house and heading to Covington, this is not in my district but people in District 2 drive there, down at the ByPass (Road) and (Ga. Highway) 81, that intersection has been a problem. I know people have worked at it, but the time sitting at these intersections is time wasted. It puts a burden on the ecosystem, because time idling is wasting fuel and putting pollutants in the air," he said.

 Corley said safety is important and he’s disheartened by the fact that he has to lock up everything he owns.

 "I feel like I’ve become the prisoner because I’m locked in and everybody else gets to run free," he said.

 When asked how he would be an improvement over current District 2 Commissioner Earnest Simmons, Corley said he would be more accessible and accountable to the public.

  "Again with my business and background, and having the experience of dealing with people, I will be accessible to them. Some of the people I was talking to before I made up my mind to run brought up the issue of being accountable and being able to contact their commissioner when they need him. Calling people back when they call you. Trying to find a solution to their issues. That’s what I’m doing when I talk to people, with my years of experience I will be an asset," Corley said.

 Corely’s business is local, while Simmons works at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Corp. near Atlanta. Many residents in District 2 commute west to Rockdale County and Atlanta. Simmons announced earlier this year that he is running for reelection; he was elected for the first time in 2006.

 Finally, Corley said he wants to be a steward of the taxpayers’ money and not raise taxes.

 "Our taxpayers are our customers. Times are hard now with our funding shortfall and when times are tough, we have to make difficult decisions. Our last decision should be to solve our problems by raising taxes. Sometimes you just have to tighten your belt," he said.

 Corley was previously the District 2 representative on the BOE, including two years as chairman, and was the president of Livingston Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Organization. He said he ran for school board because he wanted to do his part to give back to a school system that educated his four children. He ran for a fourth term in 2008, but lost to current BOE member Eddie Johnson.

 Corely is married to Robbie Corely and has four children, Mary Evans, Amy Coody, Rick Corley and Brittany Shepherd.

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