Day says spending will be big challenge for county commissioners

Shane Day

Editor's note: This is the third in a series of profiles on the five candidates in the special election for the District 3 seat on the Whitfield County Board of Commissioners.

Shane Day says he's not a politician.

"I've never held elected office before," he said. "I don't have that sort of experience. But I think I have a lot of common sense."

Day is one of five candidates in a March 16 special election for the District 3 seat on the Whitfield County Board of Commissioners. The others are:

• Jonathan Bagley, director of procurement for chemical company Polyventive in Calhoun.

• Shannon Bearfield, a U.S. Air Force combat veteran who works in a medical lab.

• John Thomas, a realtor and former member of the Whitfield County Board of Education.

• Chad “Bubba” Young, an insurance agent and former University of Georgia football player.

The winner will complete the late Roger Crossen’s unexpired term, which ends on Dec. 31, 2022. Advance voting continues Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until March 12 at the Board of Elections office in the county courthouse.

Day is the global sales director for Tiarco Chemical in Dalton and has lived in Whitfield County since 1994. He has a bachelor of science degree in agriculture and animal sciences from Mississippi State University.

He said he has been looking to get more involved in government and has considered running for elected office for the last few years.

"When Mr. Crossen unfortunately passed and this seat opened up, I thought it might be a good opportunity to see if we could do some good," he said.

Day said the biggest challenge for commissioners during the next few years will be to control spending.

"Last year, the county received some additional money from the federal government as well as some other money that was one time and they will not receive again," he said.

Whitfield County received $3.4 million in CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act money that it used to cover salaries for firefighters and sheriff's deputies. It also received $817,643.18 of unanticipated LOST (Local Option Sales Tax) funds, with the Georgia Department of Revenue saying that an unidentified firm with a presence across the state was using software that sent sales tax revenue that should have been marked for local governments to the state. An audit by the department found the problem occurred from early 2015 through January 2018.

"I'm still diving into the budget and trying to find out more," said Day when asked if he had any specific cuts in mind.

"I know the commissioners and the Dalton City Council have appointed a citizens committee to look at the recreation departments," he said. "There's some possibilities there for more cooperation in some of the youth sports programs and perhaps that could result in some budget savings. Coming from the business world, we need to look at every county department and see what the best practices are and see what makes sense for the taxpayers of this county."

Day said he'd like to see if there are other departments where more cooperation between the county and the city of Dalton could reduce costs for each government.

County commissioners last spring required masks in county buildings to prevent or reduce the spread of COVID-19 but allowed that requirement to expire. Commissioners voted in December to again require masks in county buildings but overturned that requirement in January.

"I am not a proponent of mandating masks," Day said. "I see that as government overreach. If a particular individual thinks it is necessary he should wear that mask. But it should not be a government mandate."

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