Former Covington councilman and state representative Bobby Sigman will run for Covington mayor in 2011, pushing the prospective candidate pool to three.
Sigman, 70, has run for mayor twice before in 1999 and 2003, according to the Newton County Board of Elections. City records show he served on the Covington City Council as an at-large member for one term, from 1993 to 1997, and he said he served as a state representative for one term, 1975-76.
Sigman, a commercial real estate broker, is running on a fiscal conservative platform and said he wants the city to cut expenses by 10 percent, demote any city department heads that aren't needed and eliminate stormwater fees.
"We need to get back to the basics of government," Sigman said. "All these department heads. Every time I turn around another department head (has been) added with a big salary. City government has added on more and more, yet the city has not increased that much in population."
Sigman said he wants to see each department cut its expenses by 10 percent.
"There is 10 percent waste in all government departments. We can cut that out easy. If they don't know how to do it, I'll show them," Sigman said.
Although stormwater programs are federally mandated, Sigman said the city's program is too big and that residents and businesses should not have to pay for the service.
"The federal government didn't' say you have to tax the people. It didn't say how you fund it, or how big of a program you have to have," Sigman said. "I call it a tax, because they put it on the bill of every property owner...I think stormwater could be implemented through (existing) local funding."
He said he's running in 2011 because he hasn't seen any improvements in the city in the past several years.
"No major industry has come here in the last (several) years. We have not seen any relief for the people on fixed income or unemployment. We're sitting here arguing about redecorating the mayor's office and rails for trails. That stuff is not on the front burner for me," he said.
He wants the city to work more directly through the state and not depend on the chamber to bring in business.
Regarding utility costs, Sigman said he wants the city to more aggressively pursue solar power in an effort to reduce its dependence on purchasing energy through the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia.
"I've been here all my life and know the people that built this city," he said. "I know the needs of the people that live here and know what they need is not what they're getting. We need someone in the mayor's office that will take the lock off the mayor's door and open it to the people."
Sigman and his wife, Pamela, have a daughter, Sandy Stephenson. He is a member of the Elks and Masonic lodges and he and his wife are involved with the Church at Covington.
He joined the Navy after school and worked at Lockheed Georgia in data processing before moving into real estate, which he's worked in for 40 years. He has no advanced degrees, but has taken technical courses in different areas.
He can be reached by cell phone at (770) 856-7051, home phone at (770) 788-8838 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mayor Kim Carter will run for re-election and Ronnie Johnston has also announced a run for office.