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This coming decade will be key in Jefferson
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Find more elections coverage in our 2009 elections section.

City Council District 4
Brian Mitsdarffer
Age: 34
Personal: Wife, Gina, and daughter, Rayann Mitsdarffer, 5
Professional: Small business owner
Government experience: None
Why running: “Jefferson isn’t just a city where I live, it’s my home. I am running because I believe that Jefferson is at a point where it will be critical to have people on the council that are devoted to the long-term success of the city. I am a downtown business owner, involved in multiple local community organizations and my daughter is in one of the best schools systems around. I want to see Jefferson flourish, and that can’t happen if a council member’s goals are not in the best interest of the city.”

Randall “Bosie” Griffith
Age: 61
Personal: Wife, Cindy Clark-Griffith and children Crissy, Katie and Stephen Griffith
Professional: Retired from Department of Transportation
Government experience: 19 years as a Jefferson city councilman
Why running: “I am running to give the taxpayers a voice in city government. I not only listen, but I hear what all citizens of Jefferson desire in their government.”

Mayor
Deborah “Debbie” Langley
Government experience: None
Why running: “I feel that it is time for the voices of the citizens to be heard. I am also concerned about the way the taxpayers’ money has been spent.”
(Note: Langley did not provide answers to age, personal and professional experiences)

Jim Joiner
Age: 67
Personal: Wife, Ruth, and children Jay Joiner and Kelli Porter
Professional: Retired insurance agency owner
Government experience: Jefferson city councilman for two years; Jefferson mayor for eight years
Why running: “I can offer the leadership Jefferson needs in this poor economic environment. We need to take this time to become more efficient in our operation and maximize the resources we have.”

JEFFERSON — Out of six political races, only two Jefferson races are contested competitions.

Political newcomers Debbie Langley and Brian Mitsdarffer are giving incumbents Mayor Jim Joiner and District 4 City Councilman Bosie Griffith a run for their money.

Both opponents say what they lack in political experience they make up for with community involvement.

Among other things, Langley is a member of the Realtor Political Action Committee, Women in Business, Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce and the I-85 North Board of Realtors.

“I have never held a political office; my experience is in the banking and financial industry, as well as real estate,” said Langley. “I want to lead Jefferson into the 21st century by planning for the future. And I want to make sure that the taxpayers’ money is used wisely.”

Mitsdarffer is also very active in the community. Some of his many activities include serving on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Jackson County, the Jefferson Historic Preservation Commission and Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce.

“I have always been a hard worker, problem-solver and forward-thinker. I feel like those are three things that will be a must for anyone on the council in order to help Jefferson move forward in a positive direction for the next four years and beyond,” said Mitsdarffer. “As the growth from Atlanta continues to move this way, the next 10 years might be the most critical for Jefferson. We only have one chance to properly plan and execute decisions that will keep the small-town feel that we have now while allowing controlled growth that will positively affect our citizens.”

Between the two of them, incumbents Griffith and Joiner have 29 years of experience serving the residents of Jefferson.

“I have been well pleased with the progress we have made over the last eight years (while I have been mayor) and I want Jefferson to continue to progress,” Joiner said. “Attracting commercial and industrial development is very important to the City of Jefferson and that is something I enjoy working with. It increases our tax base and provides much-needed jobs.”

After 19 years as a city councilman, Griffith said he still has ideas that he would like to bring to life in Jefferson.

“I love the city of Jefferson. This is my hometown; I was born and raised here and I am raising my family here,” said Griffith. “I feel a calling to work for and with the taxpayers of the city. My job is not complete.”

Despite their varied backgrounds, all of the candidates said the major issues that the city government should focus on are preparing for future expansion, being fiscally frugal during these tough economic times and maintaining quality of life.

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