When Judson Story ran for office in 2005, he said he loved the small-town life of Dearing, and wanted to keep it that way. Since he assumed his seat on the Dearing Town Council in 2006, the list of improvements in the town is long. Yet he feels like the small-town life continues.
"I grew up in McDuffie County and my wife grew up in Columbia County. When my wife and I met, I told her Dearing was the place to be," he said. "It's a small, quiet town with an elementary school overflowing with bright, hard working, devoted teachers. The town has nice folks who would give their last dollar to help you if you needed it. The whole area was just filled with families that volunteered their time to help their neighbor and community. This is mainly what kept me here and pushed me to do more."
Mr. Story said he represents emergency services on the council, which includes Dearing's two fire stations, emergency medical services and law enforcement.
He has been active with the Dearing volunteer fire department for 16 years and holds the rank of captain. Since he became a councilman, Mr. Story has been instrumental in bringing Neighborhood Watch programs and a Community Emergency Response Team to Dearing.
"My evening and nighttime duties include a lot of paperwork working on federal grants that will help with a full-time fireman and Dearing's own police officer," he said, adding that he also is working on Insurance Service Organization inspections that can lower fire insurance premiums for residents.
Mr. Story works full time as a testing specialist and supervisor over industrial testing for High Voltage Specialists, Inc. He is on call 24/7 for Georgia Power, Metro Electric Authority of Georgia and Georgia Transmission Corp., among others.
Mr. Story and his wife, Paula, have been married seven years and have two daughters, Ariana, 6, and Brianna, 3.
"I have enjoyed (being a councilman) from day one, and hope to ... continue to help this great community filled with loving and caring families," he said.
During his tenure, Mr. Story said the council, along with Mayor Sean Kelley, secured a government grant to restore the Dearing Gym, had a new emergency medical personnel facility added onto fire headquarters to keep EMTs in Dearing full time, replaced and updated a fire engine, purchased and set up a new sign, increased the size of the town by annexing property, helped bring in Advanced Primary Minerals' processing plant and worked an agreement with CSX to install railroad arms on North Main Street.
"Our progress is making Dearing a better and safer place to live," Mr. Story said.