By HOLLY MURRAY

What makes you the best candidate for the position?

I have 15 years of governmental experience and training. During my first term, I worked as a team to complete all of our planned SPLOST projects such as LCI streetscape of downtown, relocation of the police department, new fire department, payoff of outstanding debt, improvements to roads and bridges, and demolition of blighted properties. I have served on our Downtown Development Authority as we have strived to attract and retain businesses and provide grants to improve store fronts. I also serve on our health board as we have been on top of pandemic education, protocols and implementation of the governor’ emergency orders throughout COVID-19. I love our city, our communities and our citizens and aim to serve and continue to be the voice of our people.

What is the single-most challenging issue facing the City of Griffin today?

While every city has its challenges, we have an unlimited demand for services with a limited supply of resources. Many citizens have concerns over affordable housing, having an adequate workforce, growing concerns with mental illness and addiction in our population, attracting and retaining our population as declined reports by new census data, attracting and retaining commercial business, and safety and law enforcement needs. We do a great job with working with other elected officials on the Spalding County Board of Commissioners and the Griffin-Spalding Board of Education as all of our challenges affect the community as a whole. While we already have a strategy and have already come together as an Archway Partnership to communicate and solve our concerns together, it’s also a big challenge to get community buy in and put the plans into action. We have identified what needs to happen, but we have more work ahead of us to make sure we follow through and see results for the future and keep the momentum alive!

What will be some of your priorities if elected?

I was attracted to city government as a career first, then decided to serve as an elected official. My priority has always been to know the issues at hand, communicate and research with our board and staff to get the facts regarding those issues. Follow up with citizen phone calls, emails, texts and in-person conversations about those issues as well as their concerns is my responsibility. I am a public servant, and the city belongs to its people. I strive to set policy based on the views and the voices of our people. Our citizens are vested, engaged and take great pride in our city. They expect me to represent them and stand up for them even on controversial issues.