There are many pressing issues facing the city of Fort Oglethorpe, Judd Burkhart says.
The immediate goals for Burkhart include economic development, updating the sewer system and keeping property taxes low with a balanced budget.
But that is only the beginning of his platform, he said. In order to do capital projects such as updating the sewer system, Burkhart said he will search out state and federal grants. Burkhart also plans on advancing the fire and police department, increasing recreation, paving roads and increasing revenue sources in order to provide employee raises.
“I believe the city employees have not had salary increases for awhile,” Burkhart said. “I want to look into increasing revenue to provide employee raises.”
The veteran politician said the most important issue facing the city is economic development. But a potential obstacle for future development is the city’s inability to sell alcohol on Sunday, he said. In order to be on a level playing field with the rest of the county, alcohol sales need to be on the ballot, Burkhart said.
“We want to increase the community by annexing and growing, just need to let the people decide (on whether Sunday alcohol sales should be allowed),” Burkhart said. “It doesn’t matter where I stand on the issue. We need to let the people decide where they want the community to go.”
If elected, Burkhart said, he will run again in November.
Burkhart previously held the office of city mayor and sat on the city council on two separate occasions.
“Since I have been there already, I’m going to take off running,” said Burkhart.
Burkhart has an associates degree in aerospace engineering and carries a commercial pilot’s license, he said. He served six years in the army as a crew chief. Today he is self-employed as an interior designer and real estate agent. He has lived in Fort Oglethorpe for 35 years.
Burkhart is semi-retired and has a lot of time on his hands, which he fills with activities like fishing, walking his dog and riding his motorcycle, he said.
“I love to do stuff in the community now that I’ve got a lot of time on my hands,” he said.
Burkhart has three daughters and seven grandchildren. One of his favorite pastimes, he said, is to take his grandchildren fishing and swimming in the summer.
“I think I can bring prosperity to the city and unity to the council,” he said.