It took about two weeks after Pam Tucker resigned as Columbia County’s EMA director for her to realize she had been grooming herself for the position of commission chairman since her career began.
“I have been preparing for this my whole life and I want to do this,” she told attendees at Wednesday’s CSRA Home Connections Networking and Success Seminar, where she was the guest speaker. “The salary is about $9,000 a year and that’s a whole lot less than I was making. I don’t care. I want to do this because I’m a public servant and I have a public servant’s heart.”
Tucker, who worked for Columbia County for 18 years after 21 years in Richmond County, resigned earlier this year after reporting “intolerable working conditions” created by county administrator Scott Johnson. Days after her resignation became official on March 1, she announced her plans to run in 2018. The seat is held by longtime incumbent chairman Ron Cross.
Tucker said that unlike other commissioners she’s had an “inside look” on county operations that will prove beneficial to residents and offer a fresh perspective.
Since her announcement she’s been steadily taking notes about concerns. Some of those included traffic, which she called a “critical concern,” and to cut wasteful spending in the county.
“We need to talk to the community and the stakeholders before we jump and do something then put it in a glossy newsletter and mail it to you and tell you what we want you to know,” Tucker said.
Through her careers she has handled multi-million budgets, developed relationships with state and federal officials and has become a skilled communicator. Even though she has officially resigned as EMA director, Tucker said she continues to provide weather and other alerts through social media as she sees the need.
“We need someone who has different eyes and a different vision who can see down the road,” she said.
According to Tucker, Columbia County’s population is expected to increase to 190,000 by 2035. She said she fears for the county’s future if officials don’t change the path they’re on.
Reach Bianca Cain Johnson at (706) 823-3486 or email@example.com.