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Elections board third seat interviews begin Jan. 17
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The elections board will begin interviewing candidates for the at-large, third member seat on January 17 and 18 and will deliberate on the selection on January 23.

About eight candidates submitted applications by the Dec. 31 deadline. The applicants are: current interim third member Cary Bond, former Rockdale County judge William Todd, Jr., SPLOST Oversight Committee member Charles Chance, trucking industry businessman David Farmer, John Bickford, Rockdale Republican Party precinct leader Sandi Folsom, South Rockdale Civic Association organizer T. Eleanor Davis, and David Collins, formerly with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The interviews will be conducted in public meeting about a half hour per person.

Audience member and applicant John Bickford, who had applied in the previous round as well, asked that the interviews be conducted in closed executive session.

Republican election board member Jonny Brown said, "I'm not opposed to doing it executive session."

Democratic election board member Caycie Dix said this position was one of service to the residents of Rockdale County. "I would like (the interview) to be on the record."

"I'm in agreement with having as much as possible open to the public," she said. She asked audience members what they would prefer to see.
Audience member Bob Bala reiterated his support for Bickford's suggestion.

Audience member Stan Williams said, "The county citizens should have a right to see the interview process." He added all the candidates should be asked the same questions.

Elections supervisor Cynthia Welch pointed out if applicants were in the audience and heard the questions in advance, they would have an undue advantage.

The board agreed to hold the interviews in public, since the deliberations would have to be in an open meeting anyway, and would ask the applicants not to be present during other applicants' interviews.

The Jan. 17 and 18 meeting will be 10 a.m.-noon at 1400 Parker Road, and 10 a.m.-noon on Jan. 23.