Lowndes County Commission Chair Candidates Polar Opposites

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Valdosta, GA - The Chairman of a County Commission can have great impact on the lives of residents. And in one local county, the candidates couldn't be more different.

She's a staple of the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners meetings speaking out on everything from zoning to alcohol. Now Democrat Gretchen Quartman is running for Chairwoman.

"I think Government Transparency is something that we really need to strive for. The County Commission really needs to video their meetings and put their minutes and agendas online," Quarterman said.

Quartman is a native of Western New York who came to Valdosta in 2007 with her husband John, who grew up here. She's an avid gardener and volunteer at the Lowndes County Extension office.

County Commission meetings are held in the Lowndes County Judicial and Administrative Complex. The current Chairman Ashley Paulk is retiring from politics to focus on his business.

Running for the Republicans is Bill Slaughter, president and CEO of Waller Heating and Air. He is is a Panama City native who came to Valdosta as a teenager. He is currently Chair of the Lowndes Planning Commission.

"We want to make it extremely easy for businesses and industry to come and locate our area," Slaughter said. "We don't want to have ordinances and rules and regulations that make it too difficult and some of these folks may turn around and go to another community."

There is a public debate coming up in Lowndes County at the James Rainwater Conference Center Thursday Oct. 18th.

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