GA Cities Week

By Jonathan Dorsey

The Georgia Municipal Association will celebrate cities across the state, October 3-9, during Georgia Cities Week.

City government is the level of government closest to its citizens and the one that most directly impacts them on a day-to-day basis. Unlike state or federal government, the people have a wide variety of ways to directly interact with city decision makers. Through service on boards and committees, attending city council meetings or calls or visits to City Hall, citizens help shape policy and provide feedback to their city’s actions

The week’s theme, “Shaping the Future,” fits our city perfectly. Carrollton has invested in many projects and developed the infrastructure here to foster the economic, educational, recreational and overall health of our community

The city built facilities like East Carrollton Park, Lakeshore Pool, the GreenBelt, the Center for the Arts, the Amp at Adamson Square and Legends West Park and Amphitheater with the dual purposes in mind of serving our residents’ needs and being able to host tournaments, meetings, concerts and other special events that bring thousands of visitors and millions of dollars into the local economy.

Our public safety officers protect our lives and property and save us money, too. The Carrollton Fire Department’s ISO rating continues to save property owners millions of dollars in insurance premium costs while Carrollton Police Department officers are assigned to Carrollton City Schools resource officers, Traffic Unit, Community Oriented Policing Services Unit, Mental Health Mobile Crisis Unit, ACE Unit, GBI West Metro Regional Drug Enforcement Office, directly interacting with the community, from the classroom to the neighborhood

The city’s public works divisions positively impact our daily lives, from the streets we drive on right down to the water we drink. We’re a Water First Community, thanks to the dedication of the employees at the Water Treatment Plant who have earned the GAWP Platinum Award for seven consecutive years of perfect operations and the GAWWA People’s Choice Best Tasting Drinking Water awards. Through the streets and sanitation department, the city builds, maintains and repairs streets, sidewalks, roads and bridges and keeps our neighborhoods free from garbage and debris

With fiscal responsibility and good management, Carrollton does all this while consistently maintaining the lowest millage rate in the surrounding region (the city hasn’t increased its actual millage rate since 1993). In fact, only a little less than ten percent of the city’s current budget is expected to be funded by property taxes

Carrollton is the seat of our county government, the center of our justice system, the place to go for education, recreation, healthcare and entertainment. It is where we work and where we live. It is where the voice of the people is heard most clearly by our representatives. It is home

But the most important thing about our city is that it is not only ours, it is us. From the elected officials who represent us to the department heads and professional staff to the volunteers and folks serving on boards and committees, the reins of our government are held by our neighbors, family and friends. Our city is the clearest reflection of who we are

Dorsey is Executive Director of the Carrollton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.