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Bibb County Commission Chairman Sam Hart Seeks
Re-Election to Seat in November

by Amanda Smith

Bibb County Commission Chairman Sam Hart will be defending his seat in the upcoming general election on November 2, 2012. Hart faces opposition from local businessman Tom O. Wagoner.

Hart received his Bachelor of Arts in Science from Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia. From 1971 until 1976, he served as Assistant Director of the TRIO program and Coordinator of the Upward Bound program at Mercer University in Macon. Since 1976, he has served as Director of the TRIO program and Associate Dean of Student Affairs since 1985. While student financial aid programs help students overcome financial barriers to higher education, TRIO programs help students overcome class, social and cultural barriers.

Professionally, Hart has served on the Board of Directors for the Council for Opportunity in Education and as a Consultant for the Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel -- Grant Writing Specialist. From 1991 - 1994, he served as President of the National Council of Educational Opportunity Associations, a nonprofit organization of more than 650 colleges throughout the United States, Caribbean and Pacific Islands.

Hart has served the middle Georgia community throughout the years in a variety of ways, including as President of the Board of Directors of The Greater Macon Housing Corporation; Chairman of the Board of Directors of Educational Talent Search; Founder and Vice President of 100 Black Men of Macon/Middle Georgia; President and Coordinator of Activities of the Ocmulgee Little League; Board of Directors of the Museum of Arts and Sciences; and Regional Advisory Council of the Boys and Girls Club of Central Georgia.

In 1999, Hart was recognized by the White House when he was presented with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. Of 103 minority high school students that Hart mentored, 54 earned Bachelor’s Degrees, 26 earned Masters Degrees and 25 earned Doctorates or medical degrees.

Currently, Hart serves as Executive Director of the Middle Georgia Council for Academic Excellence, a nonprofit organization composed of professional and business leaders from the middle Georgia area. The Center operates two Educational Talent Search programs and an Upward Bound Project. Hart is also the President of S&V Education Systems Tutorial Center, which provides services that inspire confidence in youth in 2nd through 12th grades. S&V helps students succeed in math, writing and reading Georgia assessments, and helps students prepare for the SAT/ACT tests.

Hart has served on the Bibb County Board of Commissioners for 14 years. He served two four-year terms and an additional two years as the District 1 representative on the Commission. During the first ten years, Hart served as Vice Chairman of the Commission, Chairman of the Finance Committee and as Chairman of the Risk Management Committee. He was elected to the Chairmanship and began this four-year term on January 1, 2009.

In his capacity as Bibb County Commission Chairman, Hart serves on the following boards: the Macon Economic Development Commission; Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority; Macon-Bibb County Convention and Visitors Bureau; Middle Georgia Clean Air Coalition; Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; Middle Georgia Regional Development Center; Macon Area Transportation Study; NewTown Macon Board of Directors; and the Community Health Works Board.

"Bibb County has a tremendous amount of positive momentum going at this time that needs to continue," said Hart. "Under my leadership, the Board of Commissioners has negotiated and implemented the service delivery strategy that eliminated double taxation and worked with the City of Macon to pass the SPLOST, which will generate $200 million to spend on infrastructure and pay off debt," he continued. "Moreover, the Board of Commissioners has had a direct involvement in creating or retaining over 1,100 jobs in our county that will result in a $500 million investment in our community. For example, we were able to get Tractor Supply Company to locate here, creating more than 200 jobs for Bibb Countians. It's important to have continuity of leadership in order to complete items that we have put in motion, especially the SPLOST and the completion of the service delivery strategy. As they say, 'If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it'."

Hart is married to the lovely Faye Webb Hart and the couple has two sons, Samuel F. Hart, Jr. and Sheldon F. Hart, and they are the proud grandparents of two grandchildren.

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