Q: What about Hickory Lake furor?
A: I have actually had more positive feedback from our citizens and law enforcement personnel than criticism. It will be a new beginning in that area of our city, which needed something positive. We had the opportunity to purchase the property at half the value that was listed by the Cobb County Tax Assessor office. If we had not purchased this property it would have remained what it was, and that was a troubled location and a major drain on the city's resources.
Q: The city has not raised millage rates since 1991 and they’ve held steady since 2007. In this economy, how much longer can you hold on?
A: The economy continues to be a struggle for everyone including local governments. We are always thinking outside the box and looking at different ways to improve how we deliver services. We have privatized some departments and will continue to evaluate each department. We have to continue to do things smarter. If we fail to do that it would not be long before raising the millage rate may be an option.
Q: This is a young city. You’re 62. Is it time for a young mayor?
A: I never planned to be in office this long. You sort of blink and 30 years has passed. I was 31 when I was first elected as a City Council member and I still feel I have the enthusiasm to move this city forward. But there is not anything wrong with someone young getting involved.
Q: Have the last four years been the toughest, in this tough economy, of your 26 years in office?
A: Absolutely. We have had some good years, but since 1980 when I was first elected to City Council we struggled but never to the level that we currently face. The Council has been very mindful of the city finances and that is one of the main reason we are keeping our head above water now.