For District 7: Donnie Smith

Candidate shows passion, compassion for community

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We first got to know Donnie Smith when the Georgia State Patrol lieutenant returned from a volunteer stint helping keep order in the Gulf after Hurricane Katrina. We were struck by the profound impact it had on his heart, and on his optimistic view of an America that knows how to pull together.

Commission District 7

Now, Smith is wanting to pitch in here at home – as an Augusta commissioner. And we’re thrilled to ask District 7 voters to let him.

We have had the privilege of meeting scores of candidates over many years, and we can tell you we’ve never, ever, met a more earnest one than Donnie Smith. When he pauses to respond to a question, you’re not exactly sure whether he’s composing an answer or himself. He’s that passionate, and compassionate, for this community.

It’s noteworthy that, in his going door to door in commission District 7, the No. 1 concern on voters’ minds just so happens to be the reason he’s running: As a member of the Leadership Georgia class a few years ago, Smith was impressed by the amount of cooperation and progress he saw in other Georgia communities, large and small. Voters tell him that’s precisely what they want here, particularly on an Augusta Commission historically infamous for its infighting.

Meanwhile, Smith had to ask himself what he was doing to help get us to a better place. So he decided to run for the commission seat being vacated by the end of Jerry Brigham’s term.

Smith pledges to be a fiscal conservative like Brigham, but Smith’s 28 years of law enforcement experience – with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office as well as the state patrol – immediately show up in his short list of priorities. Besides addressing millions in budget deficits, he points to making Highway 56 safer, as well as “restoring Lake Olmstead to its former beauty, improving drainage problems in National Hills and making Skinner Mill Road safer for motorists and pedestrians.”

These issues will be all the more important when the expanded Panama Canal and deepened Savannah port put thousands more trucks through Augusta.

“We’re positioned for success if we have the vision,” he says.

He also wants relief for high fire taxes near Fort Gordon, a successful merger of Augusta State University with Georgia Health Sciences University, and a commission that invests in all areas of the county – not by district, but by need and impact. And he wants to be a commissioner who gives back – by listening and helping constituents with problems, certainly, but also literally: The Rotarian and Exchange Club member has pledged to donate a third of his commission salary to charity.

Smith says he learned a lot from two role models: Sheriff Ronnie Strength and longtime legislator Jack Connell. In Strength, he saw honesty, frankness and accountability; in Connell, whom he got to know while assigned to the legislature, he saw an uncanny humility and willingness to listen.

Those qualities, plus Smith’s law enforcement skills and a heart both softened and strengthened after Katrina, cannot help but make for an excellent Augusta commissioner.

We urge you to vote for Donnie Smith for District 7 commissioner.

Comments (5) Add comment
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Riverman1
84141
Points
Riverman1 10/28/12 - 09:03 am
2
0
Some alternative media in

Some alternative media in town are claiming Smith is part of the cabal supporting candidates. If he is, it fits he would get the endorsement of the Chronicle. What's his education... family?

soapy_725
43678
Points
soapy_725 10/28/12 - 09:45 am
0
0
Stack the deck. Load up the dice.
Unpublished

With this kind of experience we need the TEE to become a gambling casino.

soapy_725
43678
Points
soapy_725 10/28/12 - 09:49 am
0
0
It is all about how you feel
Unpublished

about life. Passion and compassion. For who? Show over substance.

Reminds me of Jim Bakker's remembrance of his calling to the ministry. Seems it came about while he was being mentored by Pat Roberson and saw all the filthy lucre that could be made from caring passionate Christians.

The government invented the "pyramid scheme". The mafia used same. And now the church is selling this warmed over fraud.

Old Timmer
260
Points
Old Timmer 10/28/12 - 09:42 pm
0
0
No Question

Smith is with the downtown crowd for passing this contract, he made that clear. Echols said flat out he would not vote for it as it is now so what do you think. Elect Smith for more of the same.

Old Timmer
260
Points
Old Timmer 10/28/12 - 09:43 pm
0
0
No Question

Smith is with the downtown crowd for passing this contract, he made that clear. Echols said flat out he would not vote for it as it is now so what do you think. Elect Smith for more of the same.

bluelight
28
Points
bluelight 10/29/12 - 10:30 pm
0
0
Donnie holds a Masters Degree

Donnie holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Columbus State University.

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