In 2009, when hundreds of area residents turned out to protest a decision to close the , Charlotte Nash was there.
Nash, along with more than 200 Dacula residents, fought successfully to save the three-year-old library after the county library board voted to close the branch in order to staff a new .
Nash said she was upset the Dacula community's library would be treated differently from other county libraries.
"The very idea that the Dacula community would bear the brunt of a decision about the library system or anything else at the county level struck me," Nash said. "I just can't imagine making decisions that negatively impact one community so much."
THE DECISION TO RUN
The fight to save the Dacula Library is not be the only reason Nash decided run for county commission chair, but the incident played a major role in her decision.
"It made me begin to think about the fact that we needed to recruit some good folks to run for office," she said. "At that point in time, I wasn't really thinking about it being me though."
That changed when Charles Bannister suddenly resigned as county commission chairman in October. Nash realized that whoever was elected to fill Bannister's unexpired term would have little time to prepare for the rigors of managing Gwinnett County and its nearly $1 billion budget.
"The person that wins that election will be sworn in and start work the next day. There's absolutely no period of time to learn the job," she said. "We don't need a rookie."
Nash is certainly no rookie when it comes to Gwinnett County government. During her 28-year career with Gwinnett County, Nash held positions ranging from grant manager to county administrator.
During those years, Nash had the opportunity to learn the inner workings of what she describes as a vast and complex organization. Now, Nash says, she is ready to immediately step into the role of county commission chair.
"I know it inside and out. That's not a question I think," she said.
"I know that I've got a unique preparation for the job."
The election to fulfill former Gwinnett County chairman Charles Bannister's unexpired term is scheduled for March 15, 2011.
Nash will face opponents Larry Gause of Tucker, Bob Clark of Lawrenceville, Duane Kissel of Snellville, Timothy Swiney of Lawrenceville and Will Costa of Lilburn.
The deadline for voter registration is Feb. 14, 2011. Absentee voting for the special election begins on Feb. 14.
For more information, contact the Gwinnett County Elections Office at 678.226.7210 or visit their website at: http://www.gwinnettcounty.com/portal/gwinnett/Departments/Elections.