State Rep. Doug Holt (R- Social Circle) has announced that he will run for reelection and plans to continue to represent Newton and Walton Counties through his policy of fiscal conservatism.
Holt said his main focus is making sure the state lives within its means, especially during these particularly tough economic times. However, he said with the recent spending spree, it’s also more important than ever to keep a wary eye on the federal government.
Holt was first elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2004 and is in the middle of his third two-year term."I hope the fact I was elected in the first place meant I was a good fit in terms of the issues with the folks of this district, the primary one being fiscal conservatism. Having a degree in economics and being a business owner, I don’t see any logic in thinking that spending and taxation can get the government to solve problems," Holt said.
Holt is the owner of Newton Computing Corporation, a software and consulting firm, and said he politics is only one part of his life.
"I treat my position as a citizen legislator which is Georgia’s system. I haven’t tried to make self a professional politician, and I don’t think people feel that I ever try to make a splash in the press. My living is not tied to the legislature," he said.
Holt said the legislature will be focused on cutting the state budget as revenues continue to decrease, but he has some other bills he wants to introduce.
He plans to introduce legislation to put more controls on local authorities, which are independent organizations created by the state. He said there may be over 500 authorities statewide, in areas like industry, downtown development and health, and he said many of them no longer serve a purpose. However, the legislation that creates these authorities often does not include any sunset provisions, so the authorities continue into perpetuity.
In particular health authorities concern him, because they have the ability to hand out punishment to local restaurants by fining them or giving them poor health grades. He said more oversight in these areas is needed.
He said he has another small bill in the works that would require school systems to make an annual report about how they use special local option sales tax money. However, he said because of the importance of the budget he doesn’t want to bog down the system with too many other bills.
On a statewide basis, he said citizens should be on the lookout for further legislation regarding the calculation of property taxes. There also will be talk about signing legislation that forces government departments to use zero-based budgeting. Usually departments determine their budget for a given year by working from last year’s budget. Zero-based budgeting would force departments to build their budget from the ground up and justify every expense once very three or four years, Holt said.
Holt is fairly popular in Newton County, but some Social Circle leaders have said he is hard to work with. Holt said Social Circle is very aggressive with land annexations, which is often detrimental to surrounding counties and cities.
"They seem to have an attitude to pursue only their own self interest … they’ve been so aggressive toward Newton County and I don’t feel I should be trying to help out with any their initiative. They want to bite my hand on one side and ask for things on the other," he said.
For more information about Holt’s political positions, service and business history and other information visit dougholt.org.