As a newly elected member, I wanted to take an opportunity to share both my experience and the results of the Guyt City Council over the first six months of 2020.
First and foremost, I could not be more proud of our mayor and the council for the positive direction in which we have steered Guyton. From the beginning, there has been a spirit of cooperation and a sincere willingness from each council member to do the right things for the city.
To date, it is remarkable that each vote that has been cast has been unanimous. I am both surprised and thankful to be part of such a cohesive government, especially during these challenging times of COVID-19.
Many positive and significant actions have been accomplished in a short period. The list is long and impressive. We have hired an organized city clerk, an energetic police chief, a seasoned city manager and a highly qualified city attorney.
Special notice should be given to the fact that our police department is now fully staffed, providing a functioning department with excellent community outreach and response.
In addition to these actions, we have outsourced our utility management, including our waste water treatment plant, and re-directed our current public works department staff to handle the maintenance of our city streets and common areas. Most importantly, all of these decisions were made within our budget limitations.
We are simply running our government more efficiently and with better results.
Other positive actions include progress toward establishing new planning & zoning, building and subdivision ordinances, formalizing a reference list of permit and other fees, painting and landscaping of City Hall, improved street debris removal, engagement of a highly regarded service to develop professional mapping of utilities, improved website, significant financial record keeping improvements, approval of the purchase of two police cars and many more positive decisions for our city.
Our goal is to continue this progress as we seek to make Guyton a place that we can all be proud to call home.
Future goals that have been discussed by the council include seeking grants to renovate our current Civic Center (old gymnasium), developing a downtown development authority that supports our businesses, renovating and repurposing the city’s tennis courts, recruiting a new bank to establish a presence in our town and building stronger bonds across racial lines.
Altogether, it feels like a new day has begun in Guyton.
There have been some challenges along the way. Specifically, the recent debate regarding mandatory face masks is not meant to be an infringement on anyone’s civil rights and it is certainly not meant to be a revenue raiser.
Instead, it is an attempt by the city’s governing body to encourage a safe environment for all of its citizens. Personally, wearing a face mask is not my preference and there may be some impact on business sales. However, these are minor inconveniences to which we can adjust.
A local pandemic outbreak, although surreal, is quite possible. Please know that we are acting in an abundance of caution and realize that any decision will not satisfy 100 percent of our citizens. However, we did what we believed was right.
In summary, “Life is Good” in Guyton. I am thrilled to be working with a cooperative council and we are all blessed to have a genuine and hard-working mayor. Please take the time to thank Mr. Russ Deen the next time that you see him. He has invested an extensive amount of his time and in the process has achieved great results for our town and its citizens.
Our council is also working hard to continue to make more improvements for our community and doing so in a spirit of unity. The future looks bright for Guyton.