My pastor Jody Ray at Mt Bethel UMC made an interesting comment this morning that God gives us challenges that are bigger than we are. Certainly, many believe that such situations are attention getters, His way of showing that we need Him in our lives to do the impossible. Others, who may not have a faith walk, might look at it from the point of view of the need to be part of a team to meet the big challenges. Regardless, leaders are needed. Both aspirational and experiential ones, ones who have led the way in overcoming a seemingly impossible challenge. I always knew that 2020 was going to test me as a leader. There was the putting a County budget together that would be passed by the Board. There was the renewal of the SPLOST. There was a primary in June. And then, there was the general election in November when the campaign for Chair of the Board would be contested for the first time in more than a generation.

Someone once told me that leadership is seeing the consequences of our actions further in the future than those around us. While I never foresaw the pandemic, I knew when I came into office that I had to rebuild the County’s fiscal foundation in order to address any unforeseen disaster where we would need a sizable fund balance to immediately address it. The road to where we are today was a rocky one but I was steadfast in my convictions and decisive in my actions. While some may argue that luck plays a role, I would assert that you create conditions where you can optimize your luck. We were fortunate that the federal government provided the County with $132M to address some of the adverse impact of the pandemic. But the relationships that I forged with members of the Board, the medical and healthcare communities, the Chamber and businesses, Cobb Travel and Tourism, the County school systems, faith-based communities, and civic and private organizations all bore fruit as I worked to provide funding for a wide universe of people in need.

As I waited today at an intersection for cars to pass so I could pull out into the road, I could not help but realize that Cobb County is coming back to life. We have found a way to work together through a challenge that was bigger than us. I never doubted that we would come out of this challenge better and stronger. It has been awesome to have played my part in it. This week you can help me continue that journey. For those who have registered, absentee ballots will start arriving in your mail this week. I am asking for your vote for reelection as your Chairman.

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