Another bid for the Rockdale County CEO seat has been announced, but this time it's on the Democratic ticket.
Local resident Brian Jenkins confirmed that he would be running for the position in 2012.
“There are a lot of issues in the county that are of concern to me and the taxpayers. I don’t feel Richard (Oden) has been amenable to the concerns of the taxpayers,” said Jenkins, a Connecticut native who’s made Rockdale County his home for the last seven years.
Jenkins, who has a home-based landscaping and home improvement business and does youth consultant work for gang and teen pregnancy prevention programs, said he is no stranger to campaigns for elected office.
He was elected as an alderman in the 28th district of New Haven, Conn., out of 30 city districts, in 2001 and served one term before moving to Georgia. Prior to that, he was a district co-chair for the local Democratic party.
“My campaign is a big-tent campaign. I’m very interested in bringing people together,” said Jenkins. He added that his run was not about personal ambition but about getting county business done. If he were elected, he would drive a used Ford Focus instead of an SUV to save money and would don a hard hat and be out inspecting the work of county employees every day, he said.
“I will defeat Richard. I will become the next chairman of Rockdale County," he said.
Jenkins, 50, began seriously considering a run for the office last fall as he began to notice the rate of serious crimes.
“I have a problem with our county starting to resemble other counties. It’s a good county. I want to keep it safe,” said Jenkins. “I’m interested in reducing crime. As a chairman, (Oden) hasn’t said anything to address crime.”
Jenkins proposed creating more youth programs to give teens alternative, constructive activities. “And I’m not talking about stuff where they have to pay money. I’m talking about free programs,” he said.
Other priority areas for Jenkins is reducing the millage rate, reducing government, and tax abatements for senior citizens and veterans.
“I might also add that if my department heads can’t give me the budget I’m looking for, I will ask for their resignation.”
He would also look at giving preference to county businesses and residents for county government jobs and contracts. He would also form a "community cabinet," if he were CEO. “I want the community to determine the direction we’ll be taking,” not outsiders, said Jenkins.
Jenkins' wife, Dr. Patricia Jenkins, works at the Fernbank Science Center and two of his daughters are students at Salem High School while his third daughter is married with children in Connecticut.
To contact Jenkins for more information, email Blj1@comcast.net.
Two other candidates previously announced they are running for the county CEO seat on the Republican ticket: Brad Smith, a Rockdale County school board member and Covington firefighter, and Ed Conway, executive director of the Mercy Heart clinic and founder of the Lakeview Action Committee.