Who: Allison Watters
Office sought: Floyd County Commission Post 3
Political Party: Republican
Occupation: Small business owner
What sets you apart as the best candidate for this seat? Why do you want the job?
It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Floyd County as a County Commissioner since January 2017. I am seeking re-election so that we may continue the good work we have started. I have made it my mission to be involved in our community and champion causes about which I am passionate. I am a certified County Commissioner through ACCG, an active member of Rome First United Methodist Church, graduate of Leadership Georgia and a graduate and former coordinator of Leadership Rome.
I was named one of the Heart of the Community Award recipients in 2016.
What would be your top three goals if you are elected to office?
Fiscal responsibility, pandemic management and citizen involvement in our local government.
The way we choose to allocate taxpayers’ money must be determined with thoughtful integrity and transparency. Being fiscally responsible while recruiting and retaining top employees and providing a high level of services to our citizens remains a priority.
The pandemic has created serious challenges for everyone. Protecting lives and livelihoods is our pledge.
Engaging citizens on our local boards and committees has been a commitment for this board of commissioners. Our Focused on Floyd 101 Citizen Academy has been an excellent tool to enlist citizens to serve.
One of the biggest issues the county faces is the rising costs of inmate medical care and helping those with mental illness stay out of the jails. How do you think the county should go forward with these issues?
The mental health crisis in Floyd County, particularly among those who are in the justice system and have a mental health condition, is of great concern to this board of commissioners. In 2017, we adopted a resolution to be a Stepping Up County. Stepping Up is a national initiative to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jail. Once incarcerated, individuals with mental illnesses tend to stay in jail longer and upon release are at a higher risk of returning to incarceration than those without these illnesses. Our Stepping Up Task Force is committed to finding measurable solutions.
Describe the type of relationship the county should have with the cities of Rome and Cave Spring.
Working together works better. The leadership teams at Rome, Cave Spring and Floyd County work very well together. With over 30 joint agreements and numerous joint projects, we have worked hard to serve the needs of every citizen in Floyd County. A recent example of working together is the Litter and Blight Task Force. This task force is citizen-lead with representation from Rome, Cave Spring and Floyd County. We recognize that tackling litter and blight is best achieved by working together.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread throughout the county. In what ways do you think the county should push forward to flatten the curve?
The pandemic is something none of us could have predicted, and both fortunately and unfortunately, most of us are not experienced with pandemic policy making. The effect this virus has had on human life, healthcare workers, first responders, businesses and our education systems is staggering. I am proud of the way Floyd County took early action in March by passing a shelter-in-place ordinance, even before the state did. We will continue to seek expert direction from Dr. Gary Voccio, Health Director for Georgia Department of Public Health Northwest District, as we hopefully move towards a vaccination and immunity.
How important are quality-of-life assets such as trails, parks and waterways, and what should be the county’s role in developing or expanding them?
Our greenways and blueways are vital contributors to our quality of life, economic development, transportation and health of our community. During this pandemic we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of people using our trail system. The large crowd at the recent ribbon cutting for the Mount Berry Trail is indicative of heightened interest in our trails. Connectivity is important, not just with our local trails, but to other communities as well. We are fortunate to have TRED and a recently organized Trails Committee to advance this good work.