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Take note: These men want your vote
Commission candidates give backgrounds
Butch Broome - photo by Photo provided.

Name: Ted Akins
Age: 67
Contact info: 24 Wembly Ct., Black Creek, Ga. 31308. 912-858-4271,
Party: Republican.
Seat seeking: 2nd District Bryan County Commission.
Family: I have been married to my wife Shirley for 47 years. We have two daughters, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Business: I was in the cable television business for over 25 years. I ran a large corporation that owned 23 cable systems including Cablevision of Savannah. I have been in the real estate business for the last 20 years. I presently am general manager of the Coastal Empire Fairgrounds and Expo Center.
Education: I graduated from Opelika High School in Opelika, Ala., and attended Auburn University for two years. I graduated from Officers Candidate School and served eight years in the Army National Guard. I have completed several business continuing education courses.
Civic activities: I am a past president of the Exchange Club of Savannah, past president of the Savannah Exchange Club Fair Association. I am the CFO of the Wendell Glisson Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit that raises funds for cancer patients. I volunteered to serve on the Bryan County Planning and Zoning Board, where I served as chairman. I am currently the chairman of the Development Authority of Bryan County. During my tenure on the authority we have produced over 500 new jobs for Bryan County citizens.
Political experience: I have never sought an elected position.
Why are you running for office? I am running because I have been close enough to Bryan County government to see that we need to stop spending money we don’t have. I want to get the 2nd District’s share of the revenue. I want to put the county back into a fiscally sound position. I want to make county government more user-friendly for the citizens of the county. I want to change parts of the planning and zoning ordinance to help small land owners and small business persons.
What makes you the most qualified candidate for the position? I am the most experienced candidate for the office. My business background and maturity is what the 2nd District needs in the uncertain times that are coming. We will have some difficult decisions to make soon about spending. I have had to make those kinds of decisions before.
What do you see in the way of immediate needs and future needs for Bryan County? If elected, how do you plan to take on these issues? Our immediate need in Bryan County is to stop spending money we don’t have. We must start cutting spending before we even consider tax increases. I am totally against increasing property taxes. This need overrides all others at this time.

Name: Wade Price
Party: Republican
Age: 38
Residence: Ellabell, 665-1235
Family: Wife, Wendy, and five kids.
Seat seeking: Bryan County Commission District 2
Occupation: Manager, Prices Junkyard
Education: H.S. Graduate, Bryan County Schools
Political experience: None
Why are you running for office? As a life long resident of Bryan County, I am concerned with the direction the district is going.
What makes you the most qualified candidate for the position? I’ve called Bryan County home as long as I can remember. We moved here when I was 2 years old. I grew up working the family business (Prices Junkyard) and I attended Bryan County Schools until graduation. 
This local upbringing taught me an important set of values: honesty, integrity
and common sense. I also learned that hard work is the most effective way to achieve positive results. As a small businessman, I understand the importance of maintaining a budget. But because I don’t sit behind a desk all day, I also can identify with the hard working residents struggling to make ends meet. I am a property owner and a family man concerned about my kids’ education.
I believe that this background makes me uniquely qualified to be a county commissioner who can represent all of the citizens of Bryan County.
What do you see in the way of immediate needs and future needs for the county? If elected, how do you plan to take on those issues? People are becoming more concerned about wealthy, out of district, special interests infringing on their way of life. We need to make certain that well-funded outsiders don’t permanently change the structure of our county government. Regular working class people need to continue to have a voice on the commission and a say in how their tax dollars are spent. I pledge to listen to everyone and represent all of the people, not just rich, well-connected ones.

Name: Butch Broome
Age: 51
Address, contact information: PO box 441, Richmond Hill, GA.
Family: Married 27 years to Sherri. Have two sons, Max, 24, and Zach, 18, and one grandchild.
Seat seeking: 4th District County Commissioner
Work experience: Self employed 33 years in various businesses. Currently semi-retired.
Educational background: Irmo High School, attended University of South Carolina.
Civic activities: past president of Richmond Hill Recreation of six years; board member of RHRA for 10 years; RH Christmas Parade Committee; Friends of Fort McAllister State Park; past chapter chairman Ducks Unlimited; original committee member Seafood Festival; president RH Gridiron Club; past member Richmond Hill Rotary Club; past VP Calvary Day School Booster Club; past instructor Junior Achievement; UGA Master Gardener, Bryan County; co-founder Southeast Georgia Youth Football.
Political experience: None.
Have you ever sought public office before? No.
Why are you running for office? It’s something I have always wanted to do. I have always been in touch with the people of Bryan County; enjoy solving problems and helping people with issues. I know that in order to do a good job it will take a lot of time and I have plenty. You have to be readily available and assessable. My hobby is work. I have a strong work ethic and want to work for the people of Bryan County. With the down turn in the economy, the next few years are going to be tough on Bryan County. We have always focused on new homes and now is the time to start bringing more industry and jobs to Bryan County. We need to find more avenues for revenue other than just raising taxes. Some folks complain about how things have been done in the past and there isn’t anything I or anyone else can do about what has happened in the past but we can do something about what’s going to happen in the future. I think Bryan County has a great future but we need to be careful how we do things. Bryan County is a great and unique place to live, work and play.
What makes you the most qualified candidate for the position? I have a proven track record with the people of Bryan County of doing what’s right and what’s fair. I have devoted a tremendous amount of time and effort many civic activities. I have worked shoulder to shoulder with the people in the county. I will be a commissioner that anyone anytime can call me and I will be there to listen and do whatever is necessary to help with any situation that may arise. I will work hard and have the time that’s needed to go a good job. I don’t have a job or a boss that will restrict me in any way. I plan on spending as much time as possible with our county employees and citizens learning what their needs are. I have always had a great relationship with both the city of Richmond Hill and county personnel and they know I will work hard in bringing everyone together to get things done. Being self employed my entire life gives me the ability to understand budgets, balance sheets and being able to figure things out. We are going to have a lot of issues coming up and understanding the financial end of things is going to be a must for any candidate. Figuring out how you are going to pay for things and increase revenues without more taxes is going to be tricky. We have to take a business approach to how we run our county and prioritize our needs. I’ve never had someone give me a paycheck; it’s always been up to me to figure that out. Understanding what that’s like is a unique quality that I have that will help me make decisions on what’s best for both the county’s “pocket book” and our citizens.
What do you see in the way of immediate needs and future needs for the county? If elected, how do you plan to take on those issues? All the candidates including myself understand that we have to start getting more business and industry to relive the tax burden from the homeowner, we all know we need to work on our infrastructure especially traffic. These are the big issues but we can’t overlook and understand that there is a tremendous amount of other issues we have to resolve; we have animal control issues, road department issues, environmental issues, public safety issues, recreation issues, drainage issues and many more. If I’m elected, I’m prepared to dive into all of these issues and work on them on a daily basis. I will start by dissecting our current budget and see what areas we need to improve on; using my experience I will work with the city of Richmond Hill and do whatever is necessary to bring us all together to bring needed industry and business into our community. Getting the “rail head” done on Belfast Siding and a new interchange will be a priority.
 I’m already very familiar with our recreation department and will work with them on making sure that our children are getting what they need.
Development is going to return and it’s going to be up to us to make sure we use “smart development” to make sure we don’t become just another county. We are a unique place and need to keep it that way. I plan on being a full time commissioner one that has a proven track record of working shoulder to should with the citizens of this county. I’m a work horse and ready to go to work for our community.

Name: Rick Gardner (Donald R. Gardner)

Age: 59
Address, contact information: I have lived at 140 Bea Road, Richmond Hill, GA 31324 since 1992. I have been a resident in south Bryan since 1987. I have been associated with residents of Bryan County since I first came here in 1973.
Family: Carla Valerie (Taylor) Gardner and I were married at the Richmond Hill United Methodist Church on March 27, 1992. My wife and I have five children: Scotty Bentley, Christopher Gardner, Valerie (Gardner) Caggiano, Travis Morrison, and Chad Morrison; and two grandchildren, Aridith Morrison and Kyan Caggiano.
Seat seeking: I am seeking to be re-elected to serve the citizens of the 5th District on the Board of Commissioners of Bryan County.
Work experience: I have the honor of having representing District 5 citizens on the Bryan County Board of Commissioners for the past eight years. I have nearly 22 years (11 years enlisted and 10 years warrant officer) military service in Army Aviation. Upon retiring from the military in 1992, I started my consulting company, I am owner and director of Don Gardner Assoc; dBA DGA. DGA is an independent aviation consultant company working primarily with Department of Defense (DOD) projects concerning U.S. Army Aviation research and development.
Educational background: During these past eight years, I have graduated Leadership Bryan in Bryan County, Regional Economic and Leadership Development from the Georgia Academy for Economic Development, Leadership South East Georgia from Georgia Southern University, The Academy for Association of County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) Leadership from the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at University of Georgia, as well as the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership from the Fanning Institute. I have completed certification as well as the Advanced Certification Program for County Commissioners. I have nearly 100 additional hours of class time on various subjects concerning County management from the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, University of Georgia.
I have some college having attended classes at Boston College, St. Leo College, Armstrong State and University of Georgia. I am a graduate of various U.S. Army schools including Non-Commission Officer Courses, Warrant Officer Candidate School, Army Aviation School, and instructor pilot courses with both fixed wing and rotary wing commercial instrument ratings.
Civic activities: I belong to the following: Richmond Hill United Methodist Church; American Legion Post 27, Richmond Hill (charter member, Past Post 27 Commander and Past 1st District Commander, as well as a Life Member of The American Legion); Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Steven K. Davis Post 7331 in Richmond Hill, (Life-member); I also belong to the Army Aviation Association of America (Past Chapter Officer and Life Member); Vietnam Helicopter Crew Members Association, (Life Member); the International Association of Lions Club, in Richmond Hill Club, (Past Vice-President and Past Treasurer); Republican Party; Association of County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG), (All Hazards Council, Past Vice-Chairman and Chairman, and Policy Committee for Health and Human Services, Current Chairman).
Political experience:
My political experience began eight years ago as a representative for District 5 citizens. In addition to various leadership courses and certification classes, I have met with, on numerous occasions in Atlanta, our representatives in the General Assembly as well as various others including the commissioner of DOT, and director of EPD concerning transportation and environmental issues within Bryan County and Coastal Georgia.
Have you ever sought public office before? This is my third election cycle, I have sought and been elected twice before to represent the 5th District citizens on the Bryan County Board of Commissioners.
Why are you running for office? I am seeking to be re-elected to the board of commissioners representing the citizens of the 5th District to help reduce the tax burdens on homeowners and improve the services necessary to our citizens.
What makes you the most qualified candidate for the position? I believe more than any one other qualification for public office, I think my dedication to serving the citizens of District 5 is the most essential aspect. I have proven my dedication to this service by more than just showing up to the board of commissioner meetings. I co-chaired the committee for tax reform resulting in coordination with and cooperation between each of the taxing authorities (Board of Commissioners, Board of Education and Pembroke and Richmond Hill) to bring about the increased Homestead Exemptions that each qualified homeowner now receives. I promoted and assisted in the efforts to combine the development authorities of North and South Bryan County into the one unified Industrial Development Authority in an effort to increase industrial and commercial revenues received by Bryan County, thus working toward the reducing the strong reliance on taxes from homeowners . In an effort to better prepare Bryan County and Coastal Georgia in the event of natural disasters, I have been a member of the Governor’s All Hazards Council for the past seven years serving as vice-chair and chairman since 2006. I currently chair the Association of County Commissioners Policy Committee for Health and Human Services, which advises the General Assembly on legislative issues that impact all citizens in Bryan County and Georgia. I sit on the Family Connection Board for Bryan County and helped develop the Drug Free Coalition. I was appointed to the governor’s Water Council to develop a Coastal Georgia Water Plan that projects commercial, residential, industrial and environmental uses through 2050.
By listening to our citizens, communicating their needs and educating others as well as myself to those needs and by attending various leadership and management courses, I am the best prepared candidate to understand our limited tax resources, to control the budget and provide the necessary services during these desperate economic times.
What do you see in the way of immediate needs and future needs for the county? If elected, how do you plan to take on those issues? I believe the most immediate needs for our country to be to stop the spending in Washington, D.C. Leaders at all levels of government as well as business should focus on how best to create jobs. If elected, I will continue to voice my concerns about errant spending to all levels of government federal, state, as well as within our county. I will insure that our citizens receive the best services available within a balanced budget.

Jimmy Henderson
Age: 56
Contact info: 106 Daniel Siding Road, Richmond Hill Ga. 31324, 912-756-3223 (home) 912-655-8610 (cell).
Family: Married 34 years to Susan; two sons, Jimmy (wife Christina) and Hunter (wife Joy); five grandchildren.
Seat sought: Bryan County Commission District 5.
Work experience: I was self employed 10 years in the trucking industry, I am currently employed at Hobart in Richmond Hill as a machinist and leadman, I have worked with Hobart for 28 years.   I am a high school graduate, with additonal courses in work related studies
Personal background: I have been active in outdoor sports all my life, and for the past six years I have worked to protect hunting and fishing rights in Georgia by working with our state senators and representatives in Atlanta. I am a past vice president and currant director on the board of directors for the Georgia Hunting and Fishing Federation. Past Bryan county chapter president for the National Wild Turkey Federation. I am a life member of the National Rifle Association.
Political experience: This is the first time I have ran for any public position. I am very interested in all levels of government --  local, state, and federal, and the issues that affect all of us. I have seen what a difference we the people can make if we will get involved, talk to our elected officials and vote.
Why are you running for office?
I am running for office because I believe I can make a difference. We are going through the worst times that I can remember, I know a number of people, friends and family who have lost their jobs, good jobs, and cannot find work. I know first hand what it is like to make do on half of what my family would usually make. We must change direction on all levels to make our country strong again. America is the leader of the world, we need to act like it.
What makes you the most qualified candidate for the position?
What makes me most qualified is the same thing that would make a thousand or more Bryan County citizens qualified, I care about Bryan County, and I want the best for the people who live here. For our kids to be able to grow up and have good schools, clean air, water, rivers,and ocean to enjoy like I have.
What do you see in the way of immediate and future needs for the county? If elected, how do  you plan to tackle those issues?
I would like to see spending reduced, taxes lowered, less government and a government that will listen to the people that elected them.
I am a conservative and come from a family that has lived in Bryan county for about 200 years.
I was born in Savannah and went to school there but I have been here for 36 years. This is my Home and I am proud it is.         

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