The race for the school board is on as concrete salesman and long-time resident Tony Dowdy recently announced he would be running for an at-large, non-partisan school board seat in 2012.
This will be Dowdy’s first time running for elected office. The father of six and now a grandfather said he felt moved to run after seeing the way local and state taxes were being managed.
“I feel now’s the time to act,” Dowdy told the News. “I want to be more involved. I want to be more aware. I want to have more input in what happens in Rockdale County.”
“I’m a conservative. I feel like we need to tighten our own belts before we ask the taxpayer for a tax increase,” he said.
He had first considered a bid for the Post I Commission seat and then a state representative seat, but decided against it after learning it would be a full-time job for three continuous months.
Dowdy said he felt establishing a high quality of education for children was important.
"I put six children through this school system. I’m familiar with the good and bad. It seems like to me we’re spending a lot more money than we have coming in. Their answer is raise taxes versus tightening up their own belts. Taxpayers don’t have more and more. I’m doing everything I can to pay my own bills."
He pointed out, "The school budget is a major part of the tax base in Rockdale County."
Dowdy said he hears from a broad base of people in his network. "I hear the pros and cons that people are saying. The people I do business with. I have a lot of friends going through the same thing. They put their kids through schools and now they’ve got grandkids."
Dowdy attended high school for several years at Rockdale County High School until his senior year, when his family moved to Tennessee. He moved back to the county after graduating and has been here for 25 years.
He's currently a salesperson in the concrete ready-mix business and was vice president of the Rockdale County Home Builder's Association for 15 years. He received an associate's degree in business from DeKalb Community College, which is currently Georgia Perimeter College.
To find out more or contact Tony Dowdy, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
School Board incumbents Brad Smith and Wales Barksdale have announced their intent to run for reelection. There are five seats up for election in July 2012, currently occupied by members Jean Yontz, Smith, Barksdale, Darlene Hotchkiss, and Don McKinney.