Ferguson vs Lumley for LC Commissioner

Leon County voters are watching the race for County Commissioner, Precinct 2. David Ferguson has held this position for seventeen years. Long time Buffalo resident, Sandy Lumley, is challenging Fersguson for the position.

Sandy Lumley

At a recent ?Meet the Candidates? night in Flo, Lumley. addressing the audience said that the Leon County Expo Center was an extravagant expenditure. Asked to elaborate on that comment, Lumley explained, ?While the Expo is a very nice facility, it is costing well over $65,000 a year in salaries alone. Add to that the cost of utilities, maintenance, insurance, and it becomes a sink hole.?

Lumley said that when the idea of the Expo was first presented, it was not going to cost the taxpayers anything. ?It was built to make money, but it is not being utilized enough,? said Lumley. ?And there is a total of 140 acres there, much of which is not being used at all. It doesn?t pay its own way.?

Jobs are another issue that concerns Lumley. ?Jobs must be a top priority. We lost 200 last year at Westmoreland, and there will be over 300 lost at Big Brown next month. We have to bring new jobs into the area.?

Another concern is for the county employees. According to Lumley, the county employees have not had a pay increase in the last four or five years. ?We have the money to increase salaries, and we need to do that to retain good people.?

?If elected,? said Lumley, ?I will not vote for another financial burden for the citizens of Leon County. I will vote against any tax increase that directly effects our citizens.?

David Ferguson

Speaking about the Leon County Expo Center, Ferguson said that ?for the money we have invested, we are getting more in return, and it will continue to do even better in the future. It is a nice facility that was designed from the input of parents, grandparents, and the youth, and built for the growth of the youth.?

Ferguson said the Expo is a multipurpose system. Besides being a great arena for rodeos and livestock shows, the facility has been used by the veterans, law enforcement, and a host of other activities including dog shows and county wide garage sales. Some of the events last three or four days, and that brings a boost to the local economy because people stay at the hotels, eat at the restaurants, buy gasoline, and some shop with local merchants. According to Ferguson, the Expo is booked almost every weekend and for 80 to 90 weekdays during the year.

Ferguson said that the Expo fits in well with the commissioner court?s commitment to keep the county debt free and not raise taxes. ?We are making improvements and progress, and we don?t have any long term debts or bonds.? A good portion of the progress made is supported by federal and state grants. The court has been relentless in pursuit of all federal and state funds available. Some grants require the county to match a portion of the money, but many of the grants are without a match requirement.

(This is the second of five articles on the local political races. Plan to vote March 6th.)