March is shaping up to be an exceptionally busy month for Mayor Jim Thornton. Our mayor is an active one, with meetings, projects, and events all across the community. Now that he has been re-elected for a second term, the mayor is continuing a tradition that he has had since he was elected, that being the town hall meetings. Each year, the mayor holds four town hall meetings in the different sections of the city to speak on the happenings here in LaGrange but also to give citizens an opportunity to speak what is on their minds. This past Thursday night, March 8th, the mayor, some of the city councilors, and members of the city staff gathered at Hollis Hand Elementary School for the first of these meetings.
This year, Thornton has tried a different approach. He and the staff at the city have developed a new booklet, the Mayor’s Update 2018 that they hand out to anyone who attends the town halls. In the booklet, many things are covered including a message from the mayor, some of the beautification and recreational projects, a SPLOST section with current plans, a public safety section, infrastructure improvements, and a revenues/expenses report. The book serves as an overview of all the current on goings in LaGrange in a beautifully designed packet.
During the town hall, the mayor spoke on many of the projects in the book, giving the background behind the scenes, before opening up the floor to comments and questions. This is always a mixed bag, with no topic off limits. On that night, questions ranged from large project questions such as an update on Great Wolf Lodge and Sentury Tire, to more opinion questions such as the mayor explaining to someone who wrote in on Facebook as to why now is the perfect time to live in LaGrange. Trash clean-up, school safety, public service programs, and several other things were discussed at that night’s meeting.
The town hall meetings are set to continue over the course of the next two weeks. On Monday, March 12th the mayor will be at Berta Weathersbee Elementary School, Thursday the 15th the group will meet at William Griggs Recreational Center, and the last meeting will take place Tuesday the 20th at the Division of Family and Children Services building. The programs will all begin at 6 pm. These are open to the public for anyone to come and present a concern or a question.
The author of this article can be reached via email at jandrews@troupcountynews. net.