Ethan Wolfe Interviews on run for Commissioner

Published 12:51 pm Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Ethan Wolfe, Candidate for Commissioner of District 3, gave an interview on April 23rd.  He talked about his background: “I was born in Sumter County, just outside of Americus. I lived here most of my life. I joined the military at the age of nineteen, was gone for thirty years, and I am back because I love my County and I love this place. My Dad was a schoolteacher here in Americus and Sumter County for many years. My grandmother was tax commissioner back in the 70s here in Sumter County, so we have a lineage here.”

When asked why he was qualified to be Commissioner, he replied: “I spent 30 years in the military, and while government is not the military, the military is not the government, there are a lot of lessons that I learned in the military that can be applied to government, i.e., transparency.”

Wolfe commented on the current state of the County. “The County right now is not transparent in a lot of things out there. What they are voting on, the budget, you have to do an open records request to see any of it. If the City of Americus can put it out there every agenda meeting they have, so can Sumter County, especially with technology we have today.”

Wolfe reiterated why transparency was important. “If you are open with everybody, hopefully that eliminates a lot of distrust. When you are not forthcoming with what is going on people start to make up their own conclusions as to what’s happening, and sometimes it’s inaccurate.”

He also emphasized the treatment of employees. “It’s not just money, but it’s also people.” He referenced the recognitions the new Interim County Administrator Doug Eaves had started. “I think the County can go a little bit further and start doing for merit-based type awards and recognition. We did that in the military all the time. Because it’s not just about the citizens and the money, it’s about the employees also.”

When asked what changes he would enact if he became Commissioner, Wolfe responded: “I want to keep partisanship out of the County, and that’s hard to do in today’s environment. We need to focus on the people of the County and not so much the parties and the partisan politics.”

Wolfe gave his opinion on the County appointment to the Board of elections: “In the past, it’s kind of been a rubber stamp on the Democrat and Republican nominee appointed. They went through seven different names that the Democratic Party put forward for that position. And they disapproved all of them three-two, party-line vote. If they are seriously not qualified for that position, then state it. Otherwise, it’s partisan politics.”

When asked if he felt there was sufficient communication between the Commissioners and different county boards, he replied: “I’m not in favor of any micromanagement of those boards. I do agree that maybe a commissioner ought to attend some of those meetings and see what they are doing as a liaison between the big board of Commissioners and that board, whatever it may be. I also think that that relationship ought to be expanded not just inside the County and the county boards but the different entities in the County. What can Sumter County do to help Americus, Leslie, DeSoto, Plains, Cobb, out? What can they do to help us out?”

Wolfe, running as a democrat, answered how he felt he exemplified democratic ideals. He told how he initially examined both parties’ platforms. “I highlighted everything I agreed with, and both of them had the same amount of highlights. So it’s not the jist of what we’re doing, it’s how we are doing it. I tend to be more democrat leaning because I believe that people need help at times, not a way of living, but help them out in whatever situation they are at.”

Wolfe stated respect for differences was important. “I have respect for everyone. I’m going to [show] respect no matter your demographic, your party affiliation, your sexual orientation, it doesn’t matter to me. You’re a citizen of Sumter County, you’re a child of God, and we all bleed red.”