Meet the Morgan Board of Commissioners candidates vying for your vote next month
Morgan County District 3 Commissioner Mack Bohlen qualified May 25 to run for re-election as a Republican in the July 31 General Primary.
A life-long resident of Morgan County, Bohlen was first elected to office in 1993. He served as commission chairman from 1996 to 2000 and from 2005 until January of this year.
Bohlen, 61, served in the National Guard after high school and later worked for an automotive center and an insurance company before running Bohlen’s Garage Incorporated with his brother until 1998. Bohlen also has life-long experience in agriculture.
“I think we need to keep agriculture very viable,” he said, “but we need to have a mix for industrial type climate where people have jobs.”
Bohlen said finding a balance between attracting industrial growth and maintaining relevance in agriculture will dominate the next four years during the prep work Baxter International’s grand opening.
Bohlen said that accomplishments under his leadership as chair were the cumulative efforts of his constituents, other board members and county managers.
“I’ve worked with three very good county managers,” he said. “My accomplishments are due to the support of the people in my district and support of
Good Hope resident Philip Clack qualified Friday, May 25 to run for a District 3 seat on the Board of Commissioners.
Clack, a retired firefighter, will run as a Republican against incumbent Mack Bohlen, Allen Peck and Justin Milford.
Clack, 50, was hired by the Gwinnett County Fire Department after he finished high school in 1980 and served the department for 30 years.
Clack said public service has helped him listen to constituents’ needs and that more community involvement is needed on a county level.
“If you give the citizens good customer service, and, as a commissioner, listen to their concerns, try to find the best possible answer and get back to them, then that’s doing your job,” he said.
Clack is happily married and has two sons.
Bostwick-area resident Allen Peck will run for the District 3 Morgan County Board of Commissioners seat.
Peck, 28, qualified as a Republican in March. He is a farmer and works for his family’s landscaping company. Peck told the Morgan County Citizen that he was concerned with the treatment of county employees and would review policies for public safety officials. “Our deputies are very underpaid,” he told the Citizen.
Peck also served as a member of the Bostwick Volunteer Fire Department for five years.
Madison resident Justin Milford qualified Friday, May 25 to run for a District 3 seat on the Morgan County Board of Commissioners.
Milford, 34, a self-employer of Milford Construction Corporation, will run as a Republican against incumbent Mack Bohlen, Phillip Clack and Allen Peck.
Milford graduated from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in 1997 and has worked for his family’s company for the past 15 years.
He said that his experience as a small business owner will aid in working with a county budget.
Transparency and community involvement, he said, are key issues for this election.
“There are small issues that you might not think are important that are voted on every meeting that just seem to get overlooked,” he said.
Milford said that as a Christian, he is against Sunday alcohol sales.
Madison resident James Burton qualified Friday, May 25 to run for a Special District 5 seat on the Morgan County Board of Commissioners.
If elected, Burton will immediately fill the vacant seat, formally held by Sammy Cathey, who died unexpectedly last December.
Burton obtained a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from John Marshall Law School. He has worked for the DeKalb County Police Department and served as the first full-time employee in the Gwinnett County Solicitor’s Office. He also worked as a licensed real estate salesman.
Burton said industrial growth will dominate policy the next four years.
“The county seems to be moving rather slowly in bringing new industry in,” he said. “It seems like over the years, most of the industry has either gone toward Greensboro or has been kept out for whatever reason.”
Burton said he would like to also improve on the county’s water supply.
“We have limited water sources,” he said. “The city does a fantastic job supplying what they can get to. But as far as I know, the county is fairly limited in what it can provide.”
Burton is happily married and has three children and six grandchildren. He said his campaign costs are at the expense of himself and his family and that he will not accept donations.
Buckhead-area resident Ron Milton will also run for the District 5 seat.
Milton, 71, qualified in February to run as a Republican. A graduate of Georgia State University with a bachelor's degree in Accounting, he serves as treasurer of the Morgan County Hospital Authority, after retiring with 40 years of experience with PP&G Industries. He also served on the Planning Commission.
“Government should be run as a business and held accountable,” he told the Morgan County Citizen. “I think Morgan County has done a good job being fiscally responsible…with my business and financial background, that would add something to the board that’s not there now.”
Milton is happily married and has two grown children.
Madison resident Keith Fitzgerald qualified Friday, May 25 to run for a Special District 5 seat on the Morgan County Board of Commissioners.
Fitzgerald, CEO of Rent-A-Cop USA, a security company, will run as a Republican.
If elected, Fitzgerald will immediately fill the vacant seat, formally held by Sammy Cathey, who died unexpectedly last December.
Fitzgerald, 43, a graduate of Chattahoochee Technical College, said he has worked in law enforcement since 1994. In 2005, he served as commander for the Walton County Narcotics Taskforce. Fitzgerald later spent 22 months in Afghanistan mentoring U.S. troops on law enforcement actions.
Fitzgerald said his knowledge in law enforcement will aid in making decisions on a county level.
The most important area of improvement, he said, is in bringing new industry to Morgan County.
“There’s nothing for our youth to come back home to,” Fitzgerald said. “There’s no quality jobs in the county to keep them here.”
Fitzgerald said Morgan County has “missed the boat” on several opportunities for industrial growth.
“We’re not making any headway on trying to recruit good, quality businesses,” he said. “I want to give the county commissioners a different view; a new view.”
Fitzgerald is happily married and has three daughters.
Printed in the June 14th edition.