Goodson: ‘I’m glad I got the chance to serve’
Published 11:00 pm Friday, October 21, 2016
After serving on the Pike County Commission for 24 years, Ray Goodson will retire in November.
“I’ve been doing this a long time and it’s time to let someone else have a turn,” said Goodson, who has been the District 4 commissioner. “It’s been a good 24 years and I’m proud to have served District 4 and all of Pike County.”
A retirement celebration for Goodson will be at 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24, at the Pike County Commission Chambers on the second floor of the Pike County Health Department. The public is invited.
Goodson was drawn into public life by an interest in local politics inherited from his father and encouraged by the support from family and friends.
“I was elected to the commission in 1988 and had decided not to run for re-election and sat out the next term,” he said. “But I decided to run for the office again in 1996.”
It’s a decision that Goodson has never regretted.
“We’ve had some hard times and tough decisions to make, but I’m glad that I got the chance to serve and to be a part of some important accomplishments,’ he said. “I guess, one of the things that the commission accomplished that I’m the most proud of is the building of the ball fields in Brundidge.”
Goodson said the project was accomplished with the cooperation of the City of Brundidge.
“This project was good for children,” he said. “I’ve always been interested in making children’s lives better and helping them get a good education. Another thing that I’m proud of is the recruitment of Lockheed Martin to Pike County. Lockheed Martin continues to expand and provide good jobs for our county’s citizens.”
Goodson said he voted for and strongly supported the passage of the tobacco tax that provides revenues for the county’s volunteer fire departments.
“I voted for and supported the adoption of mandatory solid waste in Pike County,” he said. “At first I was unsure how I would vote but, to make this much needed function work and be fair to everyone, this proved to be our only real option.”
In 1999, the commission considered a plan to provide a systematic approach for managing employees’ job classifications and pay grades.
“This plan was free from politics and personal bias,” Goodson said. “I strongly supported it and our county employees. They are the backbone of our county government.”
Goodson said one accomplishments of the commission that has had tremendous impact is the sharing of sales tax with the local boards of education.
“For many years, we had discussions about a sales tax to benefit both the county and city school systems and provide much-needed revenue to the Pike County Commission’s General Fund but no suitable compromised was reached,” Goodson said. “Finally, a consensus was reached to pass a local act where a one-cent sales tax would be shared between the city and county school boards and the commission.”
Goodson said, as an added bonus, there were provisions in the act for appropriations to different local agencies including Pike County Economic Development, senior centers and local organizations that benefited the community.
Although the recruitment of the Walmart DC to Brundidge was led by the city of Brundidge, it also required the support of the county commission.
“I strongly supported the Walmart DC project because it would provide good jobs in Pike County,” he said.
Goodson is leaving office with a few things on the table.
“We need a fundamental change in the county’s form of government,” he said. “The establishment of a county commission chairman that would work fulltime would provide leadership and direction for the county. But to do that, the commissioners would have to put aside their own self-interests and do what is best for the people of Pike County.”
Goodson will leave office without having been able secure the funding necessary to pave Pleasant Hill Road.
“The members of historic Pleasant Hill Church asked for my support and I supported their request as best I could,” he said. “I could never quite convince enough of the other commissioners to agree. This is and will always be a regret for me.”