Freshmen supervisors look at their first year

By REGINA BUTLER
Progress Staff Writer

When newly elected supervisors Ernie Wright and Dwayne Graham took on their responsibilities a year ago, they quickly learned that the job wasn’t the run-of-the-mill 9-5 variety.
“I’ve learned you are constantly on duty,” Wright said with a grin.
Wright, who is the district four supervisor, said he is still excited about the responsibilities his job entails as he looks forward to the new year.
“I have done my best to respond to all the crisis that came up within a decent length of time.”
The biggest crisis Wright has had to face this past year is water, and a lot of it. Rain has fallen in record-breaking numbers causing massive flooding on many back roads.
“The first of last year we had rainy weather that kept me behind constantly. I was repairing roads and bridges because of the floods,and I couldn’t get out and accomplish any new tasks because of repair work.”
Wright said it gives him joy as a supervisor to hear people be grateful for the hard work that goes into his job.
“When I and my crew go out there and fix a road or clean a right-of-way and people come back and thank us for what we’ve done it helps.
“I feel like next year is going to be better because I know the ropes now.”
In looking forward to 2005, Wright had some specific goals in mind to accomplish for his district.
“The paperwork is now completed, and we are on the waiting list to receive funds to help pay for getting the water off of Kings Highway, Jaggers Road and Anderson Road every time it rains hard.”
Wright said he wants to re-surface all the main roads in the fourth district, which is three miles.
“This will cost $35,000 a mile.”
He also wants to “put down tar and rocks on about five miles of gravel road, which will cost about $10,000 a mile.”
Wright has two state aid roads he wants to re-surface if the funds come down like they are supposed to from the state.
“I want to re-surface King’s Highway and Longview Road.”

Graham’s outline
Second district supervisor Graham said his job really came as no surprise to him.
“I studied and did my home work. I knew there would be a big demand on my time.”
The dairy farmer has learned to apply his business principals of running his farm to operating the county.
“Our biggest challenge in the county is making ends meet with the finances we have.
“We have to stay within the budget and that is hard to do with everything going up.
“We don’t need to raise taxes if we can get by without it.”
Graham said the county government has to set priorities and stick with them.
“You aren’t going to have enough money to do everything you want, so you have to set your priorities and go with that.”
Graham said the county’s next big challenge will be “building a jail. But we’ve got to do it. The population isn’t going down, neither is our crime rate.
“We must have the facilities to house those who break the law in our county.”