Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! I hope this update finds you safe and well. As promised, I want to update you as we end 2020 – there has been so much activity and progress in Ward 3 and our great city, in spite of a challenging year. I know you join me in looking forward to a healthy and productive 2021!
The Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) was approved by voters on the November 3rd General Election. This is great news for Smyrna and Ward 3! Within the SPLOST dollars allocated for Smyrna, funds are dedicated for the renewal plan of South Cobb Drive and many Smyrna downtown improvements and enhancements.
At our December Council meeting, we approved the hire of Andrea Worthy, the City of Smyrna’s first Director of Economic Development. Mrs. Worthy has worked with the city before but comes back to us in this new role created by the Mayor and Council this year. I am proud to see us elevating our economic efforts and believe great things are on the horizon.
In December, the Mayor created a new committee devoted to traffic calming throughout the city. Council Members Susan Wilkinson, Tim Gould and I serve on the committee; I will serve as committee chair.
We will be looking at high traffic areas in our neighborhoods and working with our engineers on the best solutions to address them. We hope to have recommendations yearly in the new year. Traffic and speed issues are among the top issues we hear about on an ongoing basis and are looking to make some progress in 2021.
Mt. Zion Cemetery Restoration Project
Public Works crews have completed the new side wall to the cemetery and crews will begin work on the front wall and new sidewalk in the coming weeks. At present we have several months left on the project, but we are making progress. We have hosted several meetings over the last year and there is a strong collaborative to make the restoration a reality.
The cemetery dates to 1877 and is Smyrna’s historic African American cemetery. We have made significant progress towards a long overdue restoration project for this sacred cultural landmark within our community. A special thanks to City Administrator Joe Bennett, Pastor Richard Bush of Mt. Zion Baptist Church and Ron Davis of the Williams Park Association for their continued leadership on the effort.
Looking to engage and help your community? I urge you to learn more about a vital service organization here in our community. I am beyond proud of the way our community has rallied and helped each other and those in need. Particularly for people needing food assistance, Tillman House has filled an enormous need in our community, and we continue to connect those in need with assistance. For those that don’t yet know of this crucial ministry, it is located at 940 Concord Road and a ministry of Smyrna First United Methodist Church. A huge thanks to Coach Alan Nicely, Tillman House Director and Pastor Derek Porter for their ongoing efforts.
Ward Appointments – Our Neighbors
As the Ward 3 Council Member, I am honored to appoint several Ward 3 residents to posts representing Ward 3:
I am pleased to have several additional residents from Ward 3 serving in appointed positions citywide.
Want to get involved? Reach out to me!
Ward 3 Meeting – Coming Soon!
In the coming months, I will host a Ward 3 Meeting – I will work with city officials to determine if we can safely hold it in person or if we will proceed virtually. More to come.
Year in Review – Completed & Promises Kept!
As 2020 draws to a close, I want to thank the residents of Ward 3 for allowing me to serve as your Council Member – it has been a productive year despite the many challenges we have faced in our community. Yet through the many twists and turns of 2020, I have been amazed by the generosity of our community and I have much hope as we look to 2021.
I also want to recognize our dedicated city staff, from our police and firefighters, public works, community development and our administration staff – these are folks who work each day to make our community a better place.
City of Smyrna Ethics Code of Conduct
In June, I introduced an ethics code of conduct that will apply to all official city business and activities. The code applies to all elected officials. The model code from the GA Municipal Association is a best practice and, in my view, holds everyone to the high standard expected by our citizens.
City Council Approves Resolution Condemning Racism
During a City Council meeting held on June 1, the Council unanimously approved a resolution condemning racism. As a result of recent tragic events that have occurred across the country, and the sadness expressed by the City of Smyrna's Mayor, City Council, Police Department and employees city-wide, the City of Smyrna approved the resolution. The city is committed to safeguarding our community while ensuring that the Constitutional rights of every person who lives, works and visits our great city are protected. The City of Smyrna, Georgia stands against racism and reaffirms its commitment to fighting for racial justice and human and civil rights for all.
I have received many emails and calls from residents in Ward 3, with the help of our great city staff, and we have been able to timely address issues as they come in throughout the Ward.
It is my honor to serve you and this ward. If I can be of assistance, please let me know.
Please feel free to contact me with questions, concerns or ideas.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org my phone number is (678) 631-5308.
Interested in finding out more about the City of Smyrna? Follow the link to the city's website for complete information about services for both the city's residents and its businesses.