Union County, Blairsville, Georgia Holiday-Winter 2018-2019 - Page 12

Page 12 Union County GA Magazine . Holiday & Winter 2018-19 Georgia Governor Nathan Deal Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has been one of the most outstanding Governor’s in the state’s history. He was elected Georgia’s 82nd governor in 2010, reelected in 2014. Gov. Deal served as a United States Congressman for Georgia’s 9th District, which included Union County, prior to his election as Governor. In 2014 Governor Deal won a second term. Hundreds of supporters flooded the College Football Hall of Fame on Election Night, celebrating a victory for incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal. During the celebration, Gov. Deal had a word of thanks for the Union County voters. “Thank You to the supporters in Union County for their support. Union County has always been a good county for me and I appreciate them coming out to the polls today and making this victory possible.” Governor Deal was in Union County recently where Union County GA Magazine publisher/editor Norm Cooper spoke with Gov. Deal. Here is that exclusive interview. Q. Looking over the past eight Georgia Deal speaks with Union County Magazine Publisher Norm at Election Night victory party in Atlanta four years ago. years, what has been the most satisfying part of being the governor of Georgia? Gov. Deal: Being able to raise the economic prospects for the children of our state. By doing that, I mean educationally and from a job opportunity standpoint. I think those are the long term, most significant things we can do, to put our state on a good financial and educational footing. Q. What are some of the accomplishments that stand out for you and that you are the most proud of? Gov. Deal: One of the things I am very proud of is our criminal justice reform. We have done in a series of positions over the last seven years now. It has really given us the recognition as the number one state in terms of meaningful criminal justice reform. Instead of having some 8,000 more people in our prisons than was projected to be, we now have our prison levels are at an all time low in terms of our overall population. We have seen lives saved by giving them second chances in drug courts, DUI courts and mental health courts and now veterans courts. To see those people be able to live productive lives and be taxpayers instead of sitting in $19,000 to $20,000 prison beds a year is a great achievement and I’m very proud of that. Q. Talk about the movie and television industry. Gov. Deal: The film industry is really taking off in Georgia. We were told Mon. thru Sat. 10am to 5pm Local & regional artists Unique items Made in America Pottery from all over the USA sundancegallerygifts@yahoo.com 706-781-3938 www.unioncountymag.com Exclusive Interview with UCGMag By Norm Cooper Editor, Union County GA Magazine Sundance Gallery Gifts www.sundancegallerygifts.com All of our pottery is functional as well as pretty to look at! Microwave, dishwasher, oven safe . 4397 Town Creek School Road Blairsville, Ga. Across from Alexander’s Store Julie Willer, Owner Georgia Govenor Nathan Deal speaks at the Union County Community Center recently. He is regarded as one of the best governors in the history of the state. several months ago that we are now not only the number one state in the nation, we jumped over California and New York in terms of major film production, but we now are ranked number one in the world, which is a huge accomplishment. The latest estimate is that it is a nine and half billon dollar economic impact on our state and that continues to grow every year as see major blockbuster films being made here in Georgia. It has been a huge economic boost in terms of the salaries that are paid. If fact, that is now one of the areas we have created a Hope Career Grant for, is for people to work in the film industry. This is people who work behind the scenes. They are the ones who operate the cameras, build the sets, do the sound, those kind of skill sets. We didn’t have an adequate number of people with those sets in Georgia, so now we have a film academy in which we train them and give them those experiences. Q. For five years, Georgia has been the No. 1 state in the nation to do business. What was the key to achieving that and maintaining that? Gov. Deal: First, it had to be a goal that we set. I did set that in my first State of the State Address back in First Choice Automotive of Blairsville www.firstchoiceblairsville.com 1580 Blue Ridge Hwy Blairsville, Ga 706.745.4654 Steven Dyer, Owner I n business since 2007 Small Dealership Dealing directly with the owner No employees that add to costs Vehicles from a variety of sources No high pressure sales tactics Owner also a mechanic 2011. In 2013 we actually achieved that distinction for the first time in the history of our state. We have not let it go since. We kept it for five consecutive years. The main thing that look at is job opportunities in your state, they look at a favorable tax climate, they look at a favorable and trained work force, and look at quality of life issues. So, when you stack up at the top of the heap in all those various sorted areas, I think it is a good label for us to say we are the number one state for business. Q. If you could go back eight years, what advice would the 2018 Georgia Governor Nathan Deal tell the first year Governor Deal? Gov. Deal: First, I would give him the advice of dreaming big. Don’t set your goals low. If you set your goals low you really won’t have much to show for it. So when I said I wanted the state of Georgia to be the No. 1 state in which to do business in 2011, we were still in the grips of a great recession and that looked like an impossible dream. But, it came true very quickly. I would also say, learn to do things incrementally and to be patient. We could not have achieved criminal justice reform if we had tried to swallow it all in one fell swoop. We did it incrementally over five, and now seven years, doing something and adding each year to the overall product. That has been a good way to do things. Sometimes you get impatient in government, you say I’ve only got a four-year term or I’ve only got eight years total maybe. People want to do things quickly. It takes a while to educate people, it takes a while to build a team to work together to be able to do it. I think patience for governor is a great asset. Q. What do you want to be remembered for the most as a governor? Gov. Deal: I’m not one of those who believes in legacy. I want to be remembered as someone who tried to make our state better. That is what I have tried to devote my efforts to. www.whimsicalfairygarden.com 706-379-9622 Visit the Woodland Fairy Village No charge for Admission Arthur Millican Jr. former Disney artist & model-maker Arts & Craft Supplies Craft Shop * Fairy Houses Bird & Butterfly Houses Gifts * Whirligigs 5279 Hwy 515 East Blairsville, GA About 5 miles from Town