Statesboro District 4 voters decide council seat on Tuesday

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On Tuesday, as Statesboro voters finalize their choice of whether or not to allow liquor stores within city limits and who will be mayor for the next four years, only voters in District 4 of the council choose between the challenger. Kristine “Kris” Yager-Rushton and incumbent John Riggs as city council member.

Now in his 12th year on the board, Riggs is its longest-serving current member. In a phone call last week, he identified public safety as his main concern, and in particular the hiring of more police officers, when asked what he hoped to help the city accomplish. he was elected for a fourth term.

“Well, as you know, we had another murder the night before, at The Vault, our third murder this year,” Riggs said. “We need more police.

An independent real estate appraiser, Riggs was mayor pro tempore in 2018 and 2019 by choice of the other members of the council. In recent years, he has repeatedly called for an increase in the staffing and salaries of the police and fire departments.

The challenger

Yager-Rushton, a homeowner in Council District 4 and a resident for 13 years, is employed as a potential researcher in the Academic Advancement Services at Georgia Southern University. She has identified improving accessibility to the city center from the campus, in particular by bike paths and sidewalks, as one of her goals for the city. She also speaks of stewardship and sustainable use of lands and resources as a concern.

“I would love to see Statesboro become an even better and more sustainable community,” Yager-Rushton said in an interview in August. “It has been a pleasure living here, and some good changes have taken place, but we still have work to do.”

She has never applied to be elected into the public service before. But she has served on the university’s staff council and held leadership and volunteer positions with several nonprofit organizations.

Other views

In June, when city council members voted 3-2 to put the liquor store referendum on the current ballot, Riggs cast one of two “no” votes. The reason, he said, was that he felt the decision was “too rushed” and wanted the mayor and council to spell out the proposed rules, such as where parcel shops will be allowed. and the minimum distance between them and away from places such as churches and schools, before asking the yes-no question to the audience.

But last week he said he was “not against the people speaking out” and believed the referendum would be passed.

“If the alcohol referendum is passed … whatever tax revenue we get from it, I will push for every part of that revenue to be used for public safety and alcohol abuse, prevention of alcoholism. drug addiction, drug and alcohol awareness, that kind of stuff, ”Riggs said.

In the previous interview, Yager-Rushton indicated that she also sees public safety as an important issue. She said she liked the fact that a Statesboro fire station is close to the neighborhood where she and her husband reside and that she is reassured to see a police car turning on the street “every now and then. “.

“Safety will always be a good topic,” Yager-Rushton said. “This is a problem we need to be aware of. We need to pay them properly, pay them well and make sure they are compensated. We need our firefighters and police for our own protection, for the safety of all. the community and our neighborhoods. “

Polling stations open all day

On election day, voting is open between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 2, for registered voters who reside in Statesboro and did not vote early. There are two different Statesboro polling stations, assigned to voters based on their home location.

Voters in both ridings are deciding on the mayoral race between incumbent President Jonathan McCollar and challenger Ernest Larry Lawton and on the liquor store referendum.

Residents of Electoral District 1, encompassing City Council Districts 1 and 2, vote at the William James Education Complex, the seat of the Bulloch County School Board, at 150 Williams Road. Councilor Phil Boyum is not opposed to his re-election on District 1 voters’ ballots.

Residents of Constituency 2, which encompasses City Council Districts 3, 4 and 5, vote at Pittman Park United Methodist Church, 1102 Fair Road. Thus, the choice between Riggs and Yager-Rushton is assigned only to that constituency and even there only appears on the ballots of voters in District 4.

The other three board members are in their mid-term and therefore do not appear on this year’s ballots.

Brooklet, Register and Portal also have municipal elections ongoing, with election day voting from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. A story listing the candidates and voting questions in each, and identifying the polling stations in each city, appeared in the October 30 edition and remains online at www.statesboroherald.com. Voters can check their city’s polling location online through the My State Voter Page, www.mvp.sos.ga.gov.


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