April Issue of East Cobber

In the March Edition of the East Cobber a Candidate Survey was included. Unfortunately, our answers were edited for reasons unexplained. Sorry for any confusion the East Cobber may have caused you, their readers.

Read the full text as submitted here.

NAME: Andy Smith

OFFICE YOU ARE RUNNING FOR: Cobb County Commissioner, District 2

PHONE NUMBER: 770-579-9731

POLITICAL WEBSITE: andyforcobb.com

AGE: 62

CITY, STATE BORN: Charlottesville, VA

EDUCATION: BS (Architecture) Georgia Tech

OCCUPATION:  Construction Manager

FAMILY: Wife of 25 years, Ann; Michael 24; Marie 21

HOBBIES: Golf, Softball, Bowling, Sailing, GT sports, Atlanta Braves and fixing almost anything

ORGANIZATIONS YOU BELONG TO: Mt. Bethel UMC; Mystic Seaport; High Museum; Cobb County Republican Party; Greater Atlanta Home Builders Assoc. (GBHA) recently joined; Chi Psi Fraternity

HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN EAST COBB/COBB COUNTY? 32 years in Cobb Co., 23 years in East Cobb

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ELECTED TO A PUBLIC OFFICE? IF YES, PLEASE LIST OFFICE AND YEAR(S):   No, this is my first time running  

PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS OFFICE’S DUTIES & ITS IMPACT ON EAST COBB:  The District 2 Commissioner needs to be accessible to every citizen in District 2, thus encouraging people to stay involved in their community. The District 2 Commissioner must have a vision for the County and the District, and that vision must be implemented consistently through all decisions in which he or she takes part, be they zoning, public safety, budgeting or county facilities and programs. Welcoming community input and using it appropriately to arrive at decisions in the best interest of District 2 and Cobb Co. will preserve East Cobb as the place in which we all chose to settle.

Please describe the training and experience that qualify you for this office.  My degree is in Architecture and this is the foundation of my professional life. In my career I have designed buildings, programmed and master planned communities, worked on development and property management teams and run my own construction/construction management firm. For most of the past two years I have served District 2 and East Cobb on the Planning Commission and Cobb County on the Transit Advisory Board and on the Neighborhood Safety Commission where I serve as vice chairman. For the last 20 years, through my Church I have been involved in community service providing assistance to or working in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity, The Hope Center, Girls, Inc., Hands of Hope, Boy Scouts, Cobb Street Ministries, 7 Bridges to Recovery (The Garden), Wellspring Living, Dobbins Chapel, American Legion and Brumby Elementary School. I have come to know our community well. I believe it is my concern for District 2 residents, combined with the knowledge acquired during my career and the experience gained working within Cobb County government, that qualifies me to be District 2 Cobb County Commissioner.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE FACING YOUR POLITICAL OFFICE, AND, IF ELECTED, WHAT WILL YOU DO ABOUT IT?  I believe the most important issue facing District 2 and East Cobb is protecting what attracted us to this part of Cobb County in the first place. According to county data there are fewer than 1,400 undeveloped/underdeveloped acres of land in District 2. That is only 3.2% of about 44,000 total acres in the District. Most of District 2 is in a Preservation phase of development. Controlling zoning to protect our neighborhoods while encouraging growth in the denser, commercially focused Activity Centers is critical. But, protecting District 2 and East Cobb goes beyond just zoning. We will need to support our Public Safety personnel and make decisions about Transit options and county facilities and programs, all while managing the General Fund budget and SPLOST projects. These are the things I will do to ensure that our part of Cobb County remains the kind of place in which we’ve come to enjoy living, working and playing.

WHO DO YOU ADMIRE MOST, AND WHY? I have had many mentors in my spiritual, professional and personal life and I admire all of them. But, the person I’ve admired the most is my mom, Jayne Bizzelle Smith, a high school teacher for 30 years. My mom not only had a tremendous impact on me and my three siblings growing up; her influence as an educator on the students she taught is immeasurable.  As the matriarch of our family, she instilled in three generations the desire for knowledge, respect and concern for others and faith in her Lord which served her so well during her life. My mom passed away in 2009 and I still run into former students of hers who tell me of the influence she had on them in everything from getting into college to making a PB&J sandwich. I miss her and admire her.

PLEASE LIST THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE YOU AS A PERSON:  Principled, Accessible, Experienced