Posted by admin under LOWNDES COUNTY COMMISSION CHAIRMAN
Although Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk will step down this year after 16 years of service as sheriff, he asserts that his public service is not yet done as he prepares to run for Lowndes County Commission Chairman during the November 2008 election.
Born and raised in Lowndes County, Paulk, a Democrat, feels that his tenure as sheriff of Lowndes County, as well as his short tenure as sheriff of Berrien County, have prepared him to bring leadership and reason to the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners.
“I have an in-depth connection with the community and I have built lasting relationships during my service as sheriff,” Paulk said. “I’m also a businessman … I’ve been heavily involved in farming, construction and banking for several years and I can apply my knowledge and skill to everyday business in the county.”
While Paulk feels that the members of the commission have done a “commendable job,” he still feels that it is time for some changes in Lowndes County. He mentioned concerns about the rift between county and city officials, conflict with HB 489 and the new solid waste management program.
“I know that things will never be perfect, but people can disagree without losing friends or mixing personalities with business.”
When asked how he planned to separate his background in law enforcement from his duty to the county if elected chairman, Paulk said that he realizes that the offices are constitutionally separated and that the only interaction the county has with the sheriff’s office is the budget process.
“I have been sheriff for so many years, so I have an advantage simply because of my knowledge of the budget, and I am willing to help the new sheriff make a smooth transition into office in any way I can. However, I know that when I step down, I have no influence on the operations of the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office. When I walk out, I know I’m not sheriff.”
Paulk added that he considers ethics as a main factor in his past success and plans to remain ethical if elected chairman. Paulk credits most of his success to the support of his wife of 41 years, Ginger.
“She always played a big role in my position as sheriff,” Paulk said. “She has been a pulse in the community and I value her input.”
Paulk and his wife share five children and 18 grandchildren. He and his family are members of First Baptist Church.
Paulk is also active in the Boy’s Ranch, Boy’s Club, the Georgia Sheriff Association, where he served a president in 2005 and 2006 and the state Sheriff’s Retirement Board, to which he was appointed by the governor. In addition, Paulk is the current chairman of the Guardian Bank board.