Despite the close elections results across the US, Putnam County voters made their decisions very clear on Tuesday, Nov. 3: Election Day. Putnam County’s biggest questions were answered by almost 75 percent of the county’s registered voters.
The education special local option sales tax (ESPLOST) was renewed for yet another year with 57.73 percent of county voters in favor of the one-cent sales tax.
“Our board has been adamant on making sure everyone had a say. We are happy that it got passed and will continue to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money. Quite impressed by the turnout of voters and their support and we are excited for the future of our school system,” said Putnam County Charter School System Superintendent Eric Arena.
In the race for District 4 County Commissioner, Jeff Wooten came out on top with 66.8 percent of the vote.
“My and Randy’s race went really good. He was extremely nice and we all got along really well. There was no drama in our race and I appreciate him being as nice as he was,” said Wooten of his opponent.
“I’m excited. I’ve got a lot of learning to do,” he shared. “I’ve been attending the commissioner meetings pretty much every time they’ve met and trying to learn how they interact with each other and how they go through the process. They’re doing a great job with our budget and trying to bring industry back.”
Trevor Addison won his race for Clerk of Superior Court by a large margin with 71 percent of votes in favor of him and only 28.5 percent of voters supporting his opponent Denise Hill. After his victory, Addison expressed his excitement to start in his new role and his appreciation for those that voted for him.
“I feel great about it. I think Putnam County sent a clear message as to who they wanted to serve them in the clerk’s office. I’m humbled by all of the support,” he shared. “I look forward to transitioning with our current clerk, Sheila [Perry], and look forward to serving Putnam County come January 1 as the next Clerk of Superior Court.”
The Putnam General Hospital’s nonbinding advisory referendum for a 1 mill tax increase to use as collateral for loans to pay off Navicent Health was rejected by almost 59 percent of Putnam County voters. In a prepared statement sent to the Eatonton Messenger, PGH CEO Alan Horton said:
“After 7 years as your CEO of Putnam General Hospital, I can tell you without question we are beyond thankful to serve such a supportive community. We have heard time and time again that a vote against the referendum was not a vote against the hospital, but rather was a vote against the funding mechanism. No one wants to pay more property taxes. And yet, everyone here in Putnam County recognizes the need for a strong hospital in the community. We need the hospital to meet the healthcare needs of our community and to be a catalyst for economic growth. We will continue to devote ourselves to educating the community on the value and importance of the Georgia HEART program.
We will continue to provide you with the best level of care possible, we will continue to work with our community leaders to face the challenges that every rural hospital in America faces and we will continue to do our best to communicate with you our needs, progress, and services. I would like to thank our community, our staff, our Hospital Authority Board, our Foundation Board, and the administration for their work to bring the needs of Putnam General Hospital to light. Our focus remains on the care and well being of our community.”