Thomas County Commission District 5: Hershel Ansley/Kelly Thrift

Hershel Ansley

FACED WITH TOUGH BUDGET CHOICES IN THE COMING YEARS, AS COMMISSIONER, WOULD YOU BE MORE IN FAVOR OF CUTTING SERVICES OR SECURING ADDITIONAL REVENUE TO BALANCE BUDGETS?
PLEASE RANK THE FOLLOWING SERVICES IN ORDER OF YOUR GREATEST TO LEAST SUPPORT:
• adequately staffing new and expanded libraries #6

• operating County Parks and Recreation programs #4

• supporting services for homeless #5

• supporting arts and cultural activities #7

• improving storm water and flood control infrastructure #3

• offering economic development incentives #1

• expanding public transportation & safer pedestrian and bicycle corridors #2

PLEASE EXPLAIN YOUR FIRST AND LAST CHOICES. HOW WILL FUNDING YOUR SERVICE PRIORITIES AFFECT TAX RATES IN THE SHORT AND LONG TERM?
I don't think we need to cut services or secure additional revenue to balance the budget at this time. We just need to be real conservative in spending in the future.

First: If offering economic development incentives would bring in any kind of development that would help produce revenue for the community I would surely be fore this. Funding of a project like this would pay for itself in more ways than one.

Last: I love art and all kind of cultural activities, but this would be something we can do without until things pick-up for the better in our community. Should be no funding problem if project was put off until a later date.

In this time of high unemployment, what are the most important things that should be done to improve Lowndes County’s economy?
Fire of all we got to be conservative in our government spending. We also need to keep searching for any new business we can find to come our way and to promote the plants and shops that we already have. It will be hard to improve our economy until the state and federal economy is improved, but we have to keep trying.

If elected, how do you plan to use your position to improve the lives of citizens?
If elected, I would work with fellow commissioners, staff, local citizens, and media to find out what the community wants and needs and strive to meet those needs.

BIOGRAPHY:
I was born in Grady County but have lived in Thomas County, since I was discharged from the military service in 1957. I was married to my childhood sweetheart from 1955 until she went to be with the Lord in 2004. I have 4 children, 13 grandchildren, and 9 great grandchildren. All call this area home.

I am a retired successful businessman and leader. I have successfully created and/or run companies in the past like Thomasville Fertilizer Company, H&A Spreader Service, Ansley Farm Center, Ansley Realty, Ansley Auction Company, to name a few.

The position of Thomas County Commissioner is a very important one and my positive and clean primary campaign further demonstrates I have the Ethics, The Honesty, and The Character that the people of the 5th District Deserve.

I ask for your vote on November 2nd so I can help run our County in a successful manner.
Kelly Thrift

FACED WITH TOUGH BUDGET CHOICES IN THE COMING YEARS, AS COMMISSIONER, WOULD YOU BE MORE IN FAVOR OF CUTTING SERVICES OR SECURING ADDITIONAL REVENUE TO BALANCE BUDGETS?
As a fiscal conservative and a small business owner, I understand the value of making my constituents' dollar work. I also understand that in most cases there is a need to re-evaluate the way we spend our money. There may be areas that constituents would be better served to cut or revamp. I would hesitate to comment on those specific areas without further analyzing the budget and discussing with department heads. However, my first instinct is to cut wasteful spending NOT services.

If elected, I intend to make sure the County departments are applying for and successfully receiving as much grant money as possible. If successful, this can bring in a substantial amount of revenue to either offset the need for cuts or enhance county services without costing the tax payers.

PLEASE RANK THE FOLLOWING SERVICES IN ORDER OF YOUR GREATEST TO LEAST SUPPORT:
1. Offering Economic development incentives
2. Expanding public transportation etc.
3. Improving storm water and flood control infrastructure
4. Adequately staffing new and expanded libraries
5. Supporting services for arts and cultural activities
6. Supporting services for homeless
7. Operating County Parks and Recreation programs

PLEASE EXPLAIN YOUR FIRST AND LAST CHOICES. HOW WILL FUNDING YOUR SERVICE PRIORITIES AFFECT TAX RATES IN THE SHORT AND LONG TERM?
I chose County Parks and recreation programs as my least supported by the County Commission. If you aren't familiar with Thomas County then you may not know that we do not have a Parks and Recreation dept. We are very fortunate in Thomas County to have a YMCA that is exceptional in the area of recreation programs to our County. They handle all of the youth sports and no one is turned away due to economic reasons. I believe most citizens would agree that we, through the YMCA, have the best youth sports programs of any county. So, I do not see the need for the commission to mess with a program that is already working and by the way, cost the taxpayers NOTHING. (To my knowledge, the county does not have any parks. The City of Thomasville is responsible for the parks located in Thomasville ie Paradise Park, Remington Park, etc.)

I chose offering economic development incentives as greatest support. Due to our current unemployment rates and economic times, anything the commission can do to help our constituents get back to work or grow their current businesses is in the best interest of all citizens.

My service priorities should not affect tax rates in the short term or long term.

In this time of high unemployment, what are the most important things that should be done to improve Lowndes County’s economy?
The most important things that should be done to improve Thomas County economics are as follows:

*Partner with Southwest Georgia Technical College to make sure we are providing the skills potential employers to Thomas County will need and be looking for.

*Make sure the tax burden (as far as the commission can control) on businesses in Thomas County are lower than any other county in the state in order to attract businesses to this area.

*Minimum regulation on businesses.

If elected, how do you plan to use your position to improve the lives of citizens?
If elected, the citizens of Thomas County will not have to worry about having an elected official that will misrepresent their views or spend their money unwisely. I will actively analyze the current use of funds to ensure there is no wasteful spending, actively work to make sure Thomas County is receiving its fair share of State and Federal money through grants, and will actively work to develop open communication with state lawmakers to make sure the people of South Georgia are heard and considered in Atlanta.

BIOGRAPHY:
Kelly Grady Thrift was born and raised in Thomas County. After graduating from Thomasville High School in 1995, she like many other local teenagers left for college and declared she would never return to the small town of Thomasville, GA. She went on to graduate from Valdosta State University in 2000 with a Bachelor's of Business Administration with a major in Finance. Upon completing her degree she started a very successful career in the Surplus Lines Insurance industry in Jacksonville, FL. After her and her husband had their first child, they realized there was no better place to live and raise a family than Thomas County, GA. In 2006 Kelly, along with her husband, started their own company. Under Kelly's financial and business management guidance, the company has grown over 400% even during some of the toughest economic times. Who is Kelly Grady Thrift? She is a Christian, wife, mother, conservative and small business owner who wants to see Thomas County continue to prosper and grow successfully into the future.
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