Closing the October 7 Covington City Council meeting, Mayor Ronnie Johnston read briefly from a Georgia Municipal Association blog post titled "The Attitudes to Succeed in a Small Town."  In addition to advising small business owners in a small town how to survive and prosper, that blog provides a road map for towns themselves to survive.

Listening to the Mayor highlight five important elements for success, I was struck by how much they align with the key focus areas of my platform:

  1. Embrace Change and Be Flexible.  As I have said in my campaign video and platform, nothing stands still. Yesterday's accomplishments brought us to today, but they cannot carry us to tomorrow.  I embrace opportunities with an open mind because my business experience has proven that is the only way to survive.
  2. Embrace Technology.  You're reading this blog on my website, which you may have found through my Facebook posts, in a google search ad, or from watching my YouTube video.  My opponent has none of these.  That doesn't make him a bad person, but we need city leaders who are connected in the 21st century.
  3. Embrace Your Community.  As I wrote in a previous post, it starts with showing up.  You have to be there, and then you have to work to make a difference.  From my non-profit board memberships, to the volunteer activities and community events Kim and I enjoy, we embrace our community everyday.  People are the strength of this community; pulling together, we can do anything.
  4. Embrace the Youth.  Again, I stress this in my video and my platform.  A sustainable future for Covington absolutely requires that we build the kind of community where young people can live, work, play, and raise a family.  If we truly love Covington, then we have to build the Covington that suits not just ourselves -- but also the generations that will fill our shoes.  This is why creating quality of life choices is a top priority.
  5. Focus on Businesses that Serve Out of Town Customers.  Every local business deserves our full support.  But, tourism truly is our most viable way forward in the current economy.  I've seen this first hand for over six years serving on the Tourism Advisory Committee at the Chamber of Commerce.  Our historic homes, movie and television legacy, events, and small town charm draw visitors here in large numbers over great distances.  They spend money in our hotels, restaurants, and shops that stays here in our local community to benefit everyone.  When I put economic development at the top of my priority list, this is what I'm talking about.  We have to leverage these strengths to create a broader economic development plan with lasting impact.
From day one of the campaign, I've been clear about my vision, priorities, and plans for our town.  It's nice to see such validation in the views shared by the Georgia Municipal Association.  I'm also glad to see our Mayor touching on these points as well.


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