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Barrow candidates fear low turnout for runoff

AUBURN - Two politicians whose names will be on a ballot for Barrow County's Board of Commissioners Aug. 8 are worried about turnout during the runoff.

Separated by just 20 votes in July's primary election, neither incumbent David Dyer nor challenger Billy Parks is willing to express too much confidence in their hopes for victory. The two men vying for the commission's District 5 seat both said the runoff election is too different than the primary for them to guess at the result.

But their positions on the issues have remained unchanged.

Both say they are opposed to the city of Auburn forcing county residents to be annexed into the city limits.

Dyer said he wants to continue working with the current Board of Commissioners, who he said have a good relationship with each other. He emphasized his interest in increasing sewer service to the area and said he would also like the district to have more recreation opportunities.

Dyer also said he is in favor of impact fees because the county is growing too quickly to rely on penny sales tax revenues to expand services.

Parks, who resigned a seat on Auburn's City Council to run for the board, said he thinks he can be a mediator between the city and the county to help bring recreation to the district. He would also like to work through the county's Unified Development Code to create overlay districts around the airport and in other areas that he said should have development restricted.

He cited roads, sewer and traffic as the main issues facing the district.

In the primary, Dyer earned 132 votes to Parks' 152. The winner of the Aug. 8 runoff will take his seat without Democratic opposition.

District 5 candidates:

David Dyer

•Age: 39

•Residence: Winder

•Occupation: Executive vice president of Hometown Community Bank

•Education: Bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration from the University of Georgia

•Previous political experience: One term as county commissioner

•Family: Wife, Norma, two children

•E-mail: davidyer@msn.com

Billy E. Parks

•Age: 57

•Residence: Auburn

•Occupation: Retired from the U.S. Postal Service

•Education: High school graduate, two years in the U.S. Army

•Previous political experience: One year as mayor of Auburn, two years as an Auburn city councilman

•Family: Wife, Diane, two children

•E-mail address: bparks@locolink.com