FLOWERY BRANCH — Craig Lutz announced Monday night he’s not running for a second four-year term as the South Hall representative on the Hall County Board of Commissioners.
“I can’t even begin to express the thanks that I have for you for giving me this opportunity to serve,” he told the South Hall Republican Club, meeting at the Hall County Library System’s Spout Springs branch.
“My dad always said when we went camping, ‘Leave the place better when you leave than it was when you got there,’“ Lutz said. “I think we are well on that way to fulfilling at least his dream.”
He said his term may have gotten off to a “bit of a rocky start” in that “we performed a lot of sweeping changes in the (county) administration.”
“I’ve had a lot of discussions with constituents since then and there’s been some differences in opinion on how the process went,” Lutz told the group, “but I believe everybody agrees that we’re in a much better place today and the results have been very good.”
Hall County government now has a “professional staff, which is clearly doing a lot more with a lot less,” he said.
“I believe the county is a more proficient and customer-friendly place now than it was just a few years ago.”
Lutz said he campaigned on several things, including a fair sewer rate structure..
“We now have a new rate structure that reduces the rate for the majority of users on the system,” he said.
“We also have a freshwater discharge permit and we’re under construction on a freshwater discharge line that will allow us to sell about 200 acres of our sprayfield that will help offset our debt.”
Lutz also said that the county’s fund balance has hit $20 million, compared to the $6.5 million when he was campaigning.
Also, the county since has removed employee furlough days and reinstated the retirement contribution for employees.
These things have been accomplished, Lutz said, despite a tax digest that has dropped every year he’s been in office.
“And we did it all without a tax increase or (tax rate) rollup,” he said. “It has been a busy couple of years.”
Lutz said he wanted to announce his leaving the commission about 1« years before his term ends “to give everybody an opportunity to run for this position.”
“It’s my hope that by making this early announcement, we’re going to give more people time to decide if serving the community is something that’s on their heart,” he said.