Doug Duncan has been striving to make a positive impact for years, and as of Sept. 7, is officially working toward keeping his work going.
The chairman of the Columbia County Board of Commissioners announced that he would be running for re-election at the most recent commission meeting.
For Duncan to continue laboring on behalf of his neighbors is the outgrowth of his professional history and his personal ideals.
“Through my adult life, I always had an interest in community, on where our county, our state and our country are headed,” said Duncan. “I grew to understand that being involved in the process gives one a seat at the table.”
The political and professional career of the fifth-generation Augusta native is reflective of a persistent concern with working toward the progress of the area. Before his role as chairman Duncan served on the board of commissioners for four years after being elected in 2015.
“A lot of political success comes with timing,” he said. “In my personal and my professional life the time was right for running for the commission when I did.”
In 2018, Duncan campaigned for the chairman position with the slogan “no drama, just results.” His current tenure as chairman has seen the lowest millage rate in the county in 10 years and a debt capacity at 10%, meaning that the county can borrow 90%. Columbia County also received the highest creditworthiness scores by the three major credit rating agencies Moody’s, S&P Global and Fitch Group.
Sustaining this level of success has been a primary motivation for Duncan’s participation in local politics. He emphasizes the tangible results one can achieve at that level, with a public servant’s decisions can affect citizens more directly than at the level of congress or senate.
Duncan attributes success and stability in public service to principled decision making.
“When someone is elected the focus is on what a person believes,” he said. “What are their core values? If you don’t stay tied to your core values you’re going to get pulled in every direction trying to make everyone happy, and you’re going to fail.”
For Duncan this fundamentally means the pursuit of a high quality of life for residents of the county. He interprets this philosophically in a focus on personal liberties, and practically in prioritizing public safety, private property rights, low taxation and support of activities and recreational projects, such as the Columbia County Performing Arts Center and the new park on Hardy McManus Road.
Duncan is a businessman, the vice-president of the human resources firm MAU, who also has been participating in political processes in some capacity since his mid-20s. His aim toward bettering the community in congruence with his values has led him to several roles alongside chairman of the Board of Commissioners. Fitting with his attention toward furthering the quality of life in the county, he was chairman of the Development Authority of Columbia County.
Only two of his many other current roles include a seat on the board of directors of the Georgia Firefighter Standards and Training Council and in the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee.
Duncan’s pursuit of nurturing the county’s growth is rooted in an adage by which he abides, that the best government is one that does the least.
“A statist believes that the state should make decisions for you,” said Duncan “I am not a statist.”