Cherokee County District 2 Commissioner Jim Hubbard, 67, will retire from eight years serving southeastern Cherokee County on Dec. 31.
Hubbard grew up in Decatur and moved to Hickory Flat in 1963 where he still lives with wife Peggy.
Hubbard is an Eagle Scout and served in Vietnam between 1966 and 1968 while in the United States Army.
He's also the treasurer of the Cherokee SALT/TRIAD, which he's also the founding member, and is the founding member of the Hickory Flat Township Committee.
Hubbard has two sons and one grandson and is the owner of Hubbard Telecom.
The commissioner looked back on his political career with Patch:
1. How are you all feeling now in these last days of your tenure?
The summer election took a mental and physical toll, but now that I’m winding down, I (am) beginning to look forward to the freedom.
2. Are residents reaching out to you to wish you good luck?
It’s been amazing. Businessmen and citizens from all over the county are expressing their sorrow that I did not get reelected and wishing me good luck on my new endeavors.
3. What are some of the proudest moments you all have during your terms?
The meeting I presided over when we approved the aquatic center. I allowed the kids to participate and even vote. That’s government at it’s best. When Commissioner Bosch and myself got involved in the mold situation in the fire stations, we able to start the remediation process. Many groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings, especially the (Cherokee County Regional) Airport and the Anna Crawford Children’s Center, and I hope to participate in the opening of the aquatic center. Overall I am proud that I was able to participate in the community and not be just a stuffy old politician.
4. What do you think you could have done differently on any particular issue?
Of course the (Jimmy) Bobo situation turned out badly, but I don’t know of any other way to solve the ongoing problems he was causing with his two grinding operations. I would hope that an alternate solution could have been found, but none was available to us at the time.
5. Were there any moments that would be considered "trying times?"
Our Board has worked very well together. We had some disagreements, but we worked them out together. Working together with the staff we were able to solve the counties problems. Then we had the failure of Ball Ground Recycling. That has been very challenging, but solvable until the (Canton) Tea Party (and Citizens) Committee began spreading false and misrepresented information. It has been very trying that these people assume we are corrupt and wrong in all aspects of the situation, and they refuse to believe the truth. Another trying time was the HOST tax. It was a certain benefit for our residents overall, but the false and misleading information saying we were just trying to fill our own pockets caused the defeat, and certainly stressed us all.
6. What were some of the hardest decisions you all have had to make?
Most of our decisions have been worked out into an obvious choice, but any vote on a real or pseudo tax increase was difficult, more so when the committee would spread false information saying that all our tax rate changes were increases, yet they would not call our 'roll backs' a tax decrease.
7. How do you feel about the future direction of the county now?
If the economy doesn’t begin recovery soon, the county is going to be forced to actually increase operating taxes in order to maintain our services, or decide which services to cut back. We are in a wonderful position to attract new business with our services and our quality of life features, and I would hate to see that change.
8. Do you have any advice for the incoming commissioners?
Move slowly, and be careful who you listen to. There are grossly uninformed people who delight in advising you what needs to be done. Listen to your staff.
9. What are your plans for the near future?
I want to spend more time with my family and my church. I need to revive my home business as it’s been neglected for a while. I want to get more active in my Volunteer Fire Department. It’s a very satisfying activity. I was just appointed treasurer of the Cherokee SALT/TRIAD Council, and several other charitable organizations have contacted me about getting active. I also have quite a 'honey-do' list. It has also been neglected, so it’s time for me to get to work.
10. Is there any possibility of you getting back into politics?
In spite of the accusations in the nasty campaign, I am proud of my service to the people of Cherokee County, and I would not rule out some form of service in the future.
11. What do you want to tell residents who have elected and supported you over the last eight years?
Thank you for your trust in me, and for your active support. As a Boy Scout I was taught to leave a place a little better than I found it, and with your help over the last 8 years I think we have done this. It has been a pleasure to serve you.