Shellie Smitley



Burke County is in serious need of housing, workforce development and attracting companies who pay higher wages. Those elements are intertwined with entertainment. Together all of those attributes equal a quality of life that will promote growth and prosperity, sustainment and vitality.

During the most recent City Council meeting, it was brought up a number of times the “problems” that renters would bring to a neighborhood.

Not all renters are bad people, just as not all homeowners are good ones.

The median income in Burke County was roughly $45,000 in 2020, according to the United States Census Bureau. According to 2020 data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average total personal basic living cost in Georgia is $38,165.

Just because someone rents, doesn’t mean they are troublemakers or lower quality people. Just because there are places to rent doesn’t mean they will be filled with undesirable people and foster crime or violence.

Earlier, there was a huge debate about approving the sale of distilled spirits. However, it’s now a new business in Waynesboro, adding to the economy.

A local couple is struggling to move ahead with their plan to open a bowling alley and roller rink. A few BCHS graduates are fighting to open up a new grocery store. The county is working diligently to figure out a broadband solution.

I believe it’s inspirational that the two candidates running to fill Bill Tinley’s vacant city council seat are younger than most people you typically see involved in local government.

The younger generations are the future. Younger people don’t want to sacrifice themselves living a life of mediocrity, typical of the Baby Boomers. They seek balance. They want to live life to the fullest. They want to work hard, but they want to play just as hard. They need to see a reason to be here. They need to feel engaged in their livelihoods.

They also need a place to live.

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