February 26, 2021

Letter to the Editor: Get out and vote!

With the primary election upon us today, I would like to take the opportunity to remind everyone to vote.

If you are happy with the way the county is being run-then speak out with your vote. If you are not satisfied with the current leadership-vote in new leadership.

However, I can’t stress enough the importance of being an informed voter. Do you wonder what can be done to bring new business to Heard County? Are you concerned that local businesses continue to close?

Do you wonder why there are few activities for the youth in Heard County other than school, recreation league sports or the skate park that is rarely used?

Does it frustrate you that our current leadership is proud of the long-standing nepotism policies that have allowed family and friends to obtain positions on the county payroll?

Are you concerned that the only two commissioners who question county finances and practices are considered “unsupportive”, when in fact they are simply doing the job they were elected to do? That is, to listen to their constituents and voice concerns, stridently, if needed, to protect the interests of ALL the citizens of Heard County.

Do you believe “It ain’t broke, so don’t fix it”? Or do you want to improve Heard County, attract new businesses, implement new policies that will stimulate economic growth and in-turn fund more activities for the youth in the community (other than sports) that will NOT be shut down due to budget issues?

Do you feel that the only way for Heard County to flourish is to opt for new, more impartial, leadership? Or are you content with the current state of the county? Do you feel that the status quo is sufficient for the future needs of our county? You feel that the way it’s always been done is the way it should continue to be done? Either way- VOTE!

These are all questions I would urge you to ask yourself before you head to the polls today. If you have questions, contact the candidate. Leave a voicemail, email or ask the candidate(s) face to face.

Ask them what they plan on doing (or not). Then, when they address your concerns, consider how they respond. Do they listen to your concerns respectfully and respond sincerely or do they simply refuse to give them careful consideration and credence? The way your concerns are addressed on a personal basis is a significant indicator of how responsive the leadership will be to citizen concerns and complaints in general.

On the national stage, do a little research. Look at where the candidates stand on the economy, healthcare, education and how to address the current economic situation. Will they tax more or offer more tax cuts and to whom?

Do they plan on making education a priority? If so, do they have specific plans to make education affordable? How? What solutions do they propose to decrease the unemployment rate and stimulate job growth?

In closing, I urge you all to reflect on all the issues I have addressed above. Ask the questions, find out the answers, and then let your opinion be known-VOTE!

Kristen Sumner

Heard County



  1. Franki Cummins says

    I applaud your bravery in bringing serious issues to light in a controversial setting. We should all be so bold as to question “What if it could be better?” and “Why can’t it be?” I would like to see YOU nominated for the next election season. I believe there are many that feel as you do (I for one) and just need a like minded individual in the running. Something to think about.

  2. Janet Privett says

    Well said Kristen.

  3. interested says

    You failed to mention that one of the commissioners you brought up was ARREST for criminal trespassing but I understand, your making a point AGAINST someone else so it’s best not to mention their dirt.
    As informed as you ask everyone else to be, you don’t have the first clue as how to bring businesses into the county nor how to provide the community with more opportunities for activities. You ask the question but you have no answers. But again, I understand. You like to sit on the sideline, complain about how things are done but offer absolutely NO solutions to the so called problems. Citizens like you don’t make the community better, you only provide critical comments masked in leading questions. Name a policy you would recommend that would “will stimulate economic growth and in-turn fund more activities for the youth in the community.”
    Your letter is an obvious downing of the current administration(accept the convicted commissioner whom you support) and it’s not a genuine “get-out-and -vote” letter. It’s an attack on those currently serving.

    • She may or may not have a clue how to bring business into the county or how to provide the community with more opportunities for activities, but guess what? Kristen Sumner is not running for office either. Sounds like she is just wanting someone that she feels is able to do so. What is wrong with that? She is a citizen with concerns on the current state of the county. She is entitled to her opinion just as much as you are. Also she never said she supported Karen. Sounds like she is just glad that all the commissioners are not just sitting back going through the motions. True this sounds like a get out and vote letter against June, but you know what? You could submit a letter yourself that is a get out and vote letter in support of June.

  4. Franki Cummins says

    Fun Fact for you. This happens to be one of the state where anyone can be charged and convicted of criminal trespassing for even being in a store parking lot after hours when it is owned by the store (e.g. Walmart, convenience stores, favorite grocer or eatery). But I’m sure you as a COMPLETELY informed citizen already knew that. Also if you want to get technical here’s a few other laws that you might want to remember in Georgia 1.) Signs are required to be written in English….(Well darn I believe I’ve seen this law broken at a few places, but gosh darnit I love a good taco.) 2.) It is illegal for one to make a disturbing sound at a fair. ( I guessing screaming on a ride falls into this category) 3.) Cussing over the telephone is against the law. (I’m not even going to go there.) 4.) Persons may not wear hoods in public. ( No wearing your hoodies at the football games when it’s cold.) 5.) It is against the law to slap a man on the back or front even in celebratory fashion. (Remember this after sporting events and elections) 6.) It is against the law to spread a false rumor. (Best be careful when you’re spreading the local gossip about.) And last but certainly not least, one of my most favorite Georgia laws. It is against the law to make fun of an idiot. What’s that, crickets chirping because we are all in jail over the last one? Opinions make up part of our nations diversity. Let’s not forget some amazing people that broke laws as well as vigorously gave their opinions that in turn gave us our liberties today. Rosa Parks fought for equality no matter what race, Alice Park fought for equality no matter what gender, and what about Columbus. Technically speaking he didn’t “call” ahead and ask the Arawak tribe if he could come onto their land. So whether it’s breaking a law and later bettering yourself and wanting to make a positive difference in the world or having a strong opinion in your beliefs and wanting to share that; it is our right as Americans to do so. So again I applaud Kristen for speaking her beliefs as well as the hidden identity person. On the other hand shame on you to judge someone for their past when they are trying to make a positive life now.

  5. Kristen Sumner says

    I’d like to respond to some of the comments above.
    I have the right as an American citizen to state my opinion, be it critical or supportive. You have the same rights. If you feel that the current administration is doing an admirable job, then feel free to write your own letter to the editor.

    I also do NOT blindly support the commissioner in question. Is she perfect? No. Has she made some mistakes on a personal level. Perhaps. Do I applaud her every action? No. I believe that at times, she can be a bit aggressive (overly so) and combative when it may not be called for. Do I support her efforts to bring clarity and transparency to the inconsistencies in how county meetings are ran, the budget and county funds are handled, hiring practices and any other concerns that the citizens of Heard County may have? Yes, completely. As an elected official, that’s her job. While her methods may be aggressive, they are often necessary. Sometimes, that’s what it takes to have your voice heard.

    I admire the Board members who speak up when they feel the citizens would be better served by waiting before deciding on important issues, questioning line items in a contract or expenditures that may be unnecessary (as is the case where the County paid the contractor for completing construction at the new Recreation facility yet all the scoreboards weren’t installed or functioning and canopies over the bleachers weren’t installed until over a month later-the end of softball season).

    While my letter may be critical, I don’t believe that every commissioner or board member is all bad. I can say that if your only source for finding out what happened in the county meetings are the minutes published in the paper, then you may have a skewed view. It’s often hard to attend in person, as meeting times and dates have been changed with little notice. I am also a full time college student and have children but I read the minutes in the paper each week to keep “up to date”. Its not hard to read between the lines and discern that there’s a disconnect between the spoken word in a meeting amd the written minutes in the paper. That’s only one reason I feel that new leadership is needed.

    This is MY opinion. As I stated before, if you disagree, write your own letter and sign your NAME to it. I understand my opinion may not be shared by everyone and it may not be very popular (nor garner me any friends), but it is mine and I am not ashamed to state it. My intention was to compel people to vote. Sure, I gave my “advice” on who to vote for. Maybe people went out and voted because they agreed with me. Maybe I made a few people mad and they voted “the other way” to prove a point. Either way, if ONE person read my letter and voted because (or in spite of) it, I accomplished my goal. That was my intent, not to lay out a blueprint on HOW change should happen.

    If I were running for County Commisioner, I would be sure to offer concrete, well thought out plans for how to make improvements. Since I’m not, I don’t feel that I have to offer solutions. But for argument’s sake…..

    I believe that the Franklin City Council is taking a step in the right direction by considering allowing a liquor/pouring liscense to restaurants and stores in the city. Right now, there are few dining options in the county. Hardee’s, BBQ, Subway,pizza, fried chicken, a burrito stand and a few stores that offer deli’s are the only options.

    How often do you hear people say they are going to Newnan, LaGrange, Douglasville or Carrollton to eat dinner and do a little shopping? While I support all the existing businesses in Franklin, I do get tired of the same offerings. And I know for a fact, that many people in Heard County enjoy an adult beverage or beer with their meal and will drive out of county to do so.
    Being able to serve adult beverages is a financial inventive that can have a definite impact Ina restaurant’s bottom line. I believe that if the County allowed restaurants the option of obtaining a pouring liscense, it would make Heard County a more attractive prospect.

    Yes, I understand the concerns with an increase in drunk driving. Yet the same people who would order a beverage then drive already do so-then drive home. We have a very well trained Sheriff’s and Police Department that are already vigilant about recognizing drunk drivers, those who have expired tags, speeder’s and other dangerous driving practices. I feel that they are up to the task of handling any increase in inebriated drivers.

    As for bringing in funds for youth activities that are not sports related, I have a few remarks. I simply pointed out that there are few activities for kids in the county who DON’T play sports. I have children who play sports (and have since age 4) and I believe that athletics provide many positive benefits. Teamwork, exercise, self confidence, conflict resolution and a sense of cameraderie are just a few. But what about the kids who don’t play sports? Imagine if an academic bowl tournament, a theatre production, a Jr Honor Society event or Art exhibit was attended by half of the number of football game attendees on Friday night? And if they could charge a nominal door fee, how much money could they raise?

    What if a club could volunteer and work the concession stand at a football game on Friday night and receive a small portion of the profits? Or if a little more money was given to non athletic activities?

    These are only a couple of off the cuff answers to “interested’s” criticisms. I don’t know how feasible they would be, how difficult to implement of if it could ever happen. They are simply my own ideas.

    Please do not take my comments about non athletic clubs as non supportive of sports. I have kids who have played sports since the age of 4. I have a collection of Braves shirts in my closet I proudly wear. However, I get just as excited over my child winning an art contest as I do a home run or a free throw. I want all our youth’s efforts applauded, even those who aren’t athletically inclined.

    In closing, I hope I have offered a few answers not just “asked the questions”. I do feel that by writing my own letter, not simply criticizing others that I am actively participating and not just “sitting on the sidelines complaining about how things are done”.

    Furthermore, I would like to once again reiterate that my letter is MY opinion, as evidenced by being categorized under the “Opinion” segment of the Heard Citizen. As such, I gave it as I saw it.

    Once again, I would implore readers to GET OUT AND VOTE! If you voted for the GOP in the last election, please vote once again as needed to determine a Republican candidate. Of course, I also urge everyone to vote in the final runoff election. If you have questions about the candidates-ask. If you want to see publi records, request them. Make an informed decision

    In November, hit the polls again. Let your voice and your opinion be known. I certainly will. Research the candidates and decide who you think should lead our county and our country.

    Kristen Sumner

  6. For the most part, I agree with what Kristen has to say. As for her sitting on the sidelines, well, I think that writing a letter is a great first step which totally contradicts such a negative assessment. It’s arrogant to suggest that a citizen offering redress for perceived shortcomings in the system, via a public forum, is not a valid avenue of participation. No matter what your political persuasion, Kristen’s admonition to get involved in a rational, meaningful way is simply a call to use the tools offered rather than blindly following a party line.

    And, yes, the paucity of non-sports related activities available in Heard County is a niche that needs to be filled. Sports teach many valuable lessons; however, it is the intellectual prowess of a locale that determines how robust that community will or will not become.

    Some helpful links:


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