A familiar face is looking to re-enter the political scene in Stephens County.
Former Stephens County Commissioner and Georgia State Representative Jeanette Jamieson has announced that she will run for a seat on the Toccoa City Commission this Fall.
Jamieson said she will seek Post 3 on the Toccoa City Commission, currently held by Andy Pavliscsak.
Pavliscsak announced in April he had no intentions to seek a third term on the city commission.
Jamieson said she is really excited to announce her candidacy.
She said that she feels a strong desire to return to public service.
“I think once you have spent 30 years in public service, it becomes something you are so accustomed to and you are so interested in and the desire to serve never really leaves you,” said Jamieson.
She said several people approached her about running and while she did not commit right away, she never lost her interest in what is going on the community and her desire to help make the community stronger.
“I think probably I just decided my desire to be part of the decision-making process was so strong that it was time,” said Jamieson.
Jamieson is also a local tax preparer and accountant.
She said economic development is a very important issue to her, adding she wants to bring her knowledge and experience in public service to the position to help attract jobs.
“That is fine to say, but it is not always easy to do,” said Jamieson. “We now see that Highway 17’s four-laning is finally going to be a reality. We have got the water. We will have, when it is completed, the main transportation artery to an interstate. I believe local elected officials have as much responsibility in selling a community as does any hired person.”
She went on to say that bringing jobs and investments into the community will only help the tax digest, which she feels needs to be a priority.
“We have seen this year what a struggle it is when the tax digest goes down and it is left then to local elected officials to either raise the millage or cut services,” said Jamieson. “That is not an easy thing to do because the services, law enforcement, ambulance services, job creation, infrastructure, it is something that makes a community a worthwhile place to live.”
After serving as a county commissioner, Jamieson served in the State House for more than 20 years before losing to Michael Harden in 2008.
Then in 2011, Jamieson pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor tax evasion after state authorities charged her with failing to file her 2006 and 2007 state tax returns.
She was sentenced under the First Offender Act and she said she has completed all of the terms of the court, which means that she is free of any conviction.
Jamieson said that almost anyone who knows her in the community knows the case was strictly political.
She said she is ready to move forward.
“I think from the encouragement that I have had to seek this seat and the support we have continued to have in our business, that the tax situation, while it was an embarrassment to me and I resent it to this very day, it has not harmed our business and I do not think it has harmed my public image to the point to where if people have confidence in me as a potential city commissioner, that it would affect a campaign.”
Two seats on the Toccoa City Commission, Pavliscsak’s Post 3 seat and Ron Seib’s Post 5 seat, are up for election this November.
Seib also announced earlier this year he did not plan to seek re-election.
Qualifying for Pavliscsak’s Post 3 seat and Seib’s Post 5 seat will run from August 26 to August 30.