May 4, 2016

Two contenders are vying for the District 5 Commissioner Seat–current commissioner, Doug Luke, and challenger, Roger Harrison.  Both Doug Luke and Roger Harrison attended the Chamber’s forum on 4/21/16; however, only Mr. Harrison attended the 4/28/16 forum moderated by the Citizens for a Clean Jasper County and TWG.

Remember, in the District 5 Commissioner’s race, whoever wins the election May 24th will be the next commissioner for that district unless someone runs as an Independent.

We took limited notes at the Forums, but the following things stood out to us.

At the Chamber Forum

Opening statements:

Roger Harrison said he was back home now after having been all over the country.  He wants to work together with regional, state, and all local officials, and thinks Jasper County’s best days are ahead.

Doug Luke said he serves with a fantastic group of guys (the current BOC) that have turned things around in this county. 

When asked why they were running:

Roger Harrison—I care about the future.  Growth will come and we can be prepared.  I have training in Economic Development, Smart Growth, and clean growth skills.  Growth is coming; we have to be ready for Smart Growth.

Doug Luke—The same reason I ran first time.  I want to be an advocate for people that don’t have a voice.  Also to bring stability to our county government, and change the direction our county is going with Smart Growth and sustainable growth. 

When asked in what ways have they served this community—

Doug Luke said you don’t do anything by yourself, you work as a team–that’s what this group has tried to do.  He addresses individual citizens concerns and follows up.

Roger Harrison said he works with the Chamber & the new ambassador program, as well as the Mentor program.  He is still active with 4H.

At the TWG/Clean Jasper County Forum

Gene Trammell informed everyone that Doug Luke had to work until 7PM, and would not make the forum.

Following are some of the comments Roger Harrison made at that forum in answer to citizens’ questions:

  • I want a better Jasper County in the future. We can reduce the burden of the taxpayer with Economic Development.
  • In answer to a question about Transparency—Transparency has to be earlier on and before the time everything is done.
  • There have been budget increases because the population has grown and we have to have expanded services for more people.
  • In answer to a question about funding private industry—The County is not on the hook for this (Baxter, Norton, Wood Flooring Plant).

Roger Harrison was asked, “How do you prepare for growth?” after his many comments about “growth is coming.”  Here is his answer:

(For those of you not familiar with Smart Growth or Sustainable Growth, we suggest you Google those terms along with Agenda 21.)

One important piece of information was disclosed by Gene Trammell at the forum when people had different ideas about more growth for Jasper County. He said the new Comprehensive Plan will be discussed and approved in 2017.  This “plan” determines how the county will look over the next 15-20 years and a new land plan map will be developed.  Every Jasper County citizen needs to plan to be part of these meetings and discussions!

Early voting has already started, and election day is May 24th.  Talk with people that attended the forum and heard all the discussion, call the candidates and talk to them, and then make your decision as to who will be best for Jasper County and VOTE!



Citizens, be informed and stay informed




This entry was posted in County, Economic Development, Elections/voting and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Research says says:

    I find it interesting that some of the commissioners think we need to get ready for growth.

    According to the US Census Bureau, over the past 40 years, Jasper County has reached the highest population in 2009. The population in Jasper County has declined since.

    Here are the facts per US Census Bureau:

    2009 – 13,953
    2010 – 13,899
    2011 – 13,785
    2012 – 13,614
    2013 – 13,601

    Here is another interesting statistics: Note the population in 1910 and 1920


    Keep raising taxes and the population will continue to decline. Who wants to move to a high tax, low service county?

    Jasper County is a sparsely populated county in relation to its size. People move here because of that. They don’t expect a lot of services, but they to expect the taxes to be commensurate with services.

  2. Aiwa says:

    I want to know what Doug Luke and his group of big spenders and taxers have turned around in this county? Worse roads, an EMS that has no direction, an Animal Control that has to beg for food at the corner mart, and on and on. We don’t need Roger Harrison’s smart growth either. I moved here from DeKalb County to get away from government interfering with everything, traffic, gangs, and too many people.

  3. Scrap Recovery says:

    Growth in this county will never happen like they want as No one wants It in there back yard! No one wants to move into a area with More dirt roads than paved! they have a gold mine at the landfill but no one knows how to make money off it! I cant sell my house as i am on dirt rd, but I was told 22 yrs ago it was going to be paved! all i get from public works is Warm puffy smoke blown up My A!!

  4. Better The Devil We Know says:

    There is Doug Luke, the devil we know and then there is Roger Harrison who decides to settle down in his home county and show us Podunks how Smart Growth is done.
    Mr. Harrison is so confident that the D-5 office is his that he did not even bother study Jasper County statistics before appearing at the Piedmont Firehouse forum. If he had he would have know that the county has not grown since 2010, but in fact has decreased in population. We’ve heard growth, even out-of-control growth is coming so we must get ready nonsense used to manipulate, control and even fleece the taxpayers of Jasper County since the 1990’s and we have yet to see any of these growth lies manifest into anything other than more and more public debt. Also, when asked what guarantees for return on our investment do the taxpayers of Jasper County get for backing over a hundred millions dollars in economic development debt, and according to Gene Trammell more public debt projects in play, Mr. Harrison blew the question off by saying that all the land in the entire county wasn’t worth 100 million. If Mr. Harrison had bothered to do his homework, he would have known that the 2015 tax digest values Jasper County Real and Personal Property at 400 million dollars in the unincorporated area alone. However, fact is not nearly important as the act. And, the act is all Roger is about.

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