Chatham County Commission Chairman candidates talk with WTOC - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Chatham County Commission Chairman candidates ready for Tuesday

Eddie DeLoach, Al Scott Eddie DeLoach, Al Scott

We're just days away from Decision 2012, and a big race here at home will see Chatham County voters picking a new commission chairman Tuesday. When the primary dust settled in September, Democrat Al Scott and Republican Eddie DeLoach were the last men standing.

WTOC sat down with both candidates to find out their differences and their vision for the county.

"I think experience matters, and I have it," Scott told WTOC.

"I was on commission eight years. I understand how it functions, how it works," DeLoach said.

Two men. Two completely different backgrounds.

Republican DeLoach, a business man who owns Tidewater landscaping, has served on commission and is heavily involved in the community.

Democrat Al Scott, who has held House, Senate, state Board of Education and Labor Commissioner seats has deep roots in Savannah too.

Both are competing to be the next Chatham County Chairman and both have different visions for the future of the county.

"This county really has no strategic plan. There were concerns when I spoke to people about the Savannah harbor deepening, crime and about unemployment," Scott said.

"I feel like the infrastructure is an area we need to improve on. The roads," DeLoach said. "We need a program to relieve the congestion we have in the community and improve the drainage in the community."

Another area of differing opinion involves the current battle over the county's involvement in a convention center hotel on Hutchinson Island.

"I am all for a hotel over there if someone else is willing to put it in," DeLoach said. "I don't think it is the county's responsibility to guarantee somebody success."

"I don't have a problem partnering with the private sector if it is in the best interest of the taxpayers of this county," Scott said, who added he would like to see the money used to draw new, unique industry versus another hotel.

Neither candidate has a problem pointing out the differences in each other.

"I think we are at a crossroads of really advancing this county or maintaining the status quo," Scott said. "I'd really like to be in the position to advance it. I am thinking more of the future. Eddie is probably more of the status quo."

"I know I will be able to hit the ground running. I know how to get things done. I know how to work with the commissioners to get things done they want to get done. We'll swap horses and make things work out and see if we can better Chatham County in the long run," DeLoach said.

On Nov. 6, the voters will decide which experience matters more to them. 

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