OXFORD, Ga. –If you live in Oxford and your phone rings and the caller ID indicates that newly elected city council member Jeff Wearing is on the other end, take the call. He wants you to get involved.
“We don’t really have a lot of participation in our council meetings,” he said, “You can send out all of the emails in the world, all the letters in the utility bills you want, but you’re not going to get the participation you want until you pick up the phone and say ‘We’d like to have you come to the meeting. We would like to have your participation. We want your opinion.’”
After serving on the city’s planning commission, a desire to serve his community in an elected capacity motivated the longtime Oxford resident and business owner to make another run for the council.
“I’ve been in that community for 45 years. I ran one time before and lost, twice really, and I felt as if I wanted to help the community, to see if I can be effective as far as the board and community is concerned.
As for priorities for the city, Wearing said taxes are and utility bills are among the most important.
“We’ve got a lot of issues. We have some tax issues, that we’re losing revenue,” he said, “I attribute that to the fact that the majority of the land is owned in big plots.
“They base their taxation on the utilities and from what I’ve gathered, the people of the community are not happy because our utilities keep going up. I hope I can be of assistance and give some input.”
Wearing believes the city’s new downtown development plans are vital to its future. He said he also believes that industrial development could be looked at.
“I don’t know that there are not areas that could be used for industrial purposes,” he said, “I have not analyzed it yet, when I say that. Maybe annexing some of the surrounding property might be feasible.
“Until I get on the council and get some of the insights of their thinking, it’s going to be difficult to say really say that I’d like to make this plan or that plan.”
Asked what Oxford will look like at the end of his first term, Wearing said he wasn’t sure.
“At this point, I really don’t know. I don’t think it will change much,” he said, “We’ve got a lot of questions that need to be answered, a lot of things that need to be done before they are answered. We’ve got a lot of planning.
“I don’t think you’ll see an awful lot of change, but I think you’ll see some good changes.”
Wearing said it is all about citizen involvement.
“One of my chief concerns and ideas is to try every way possible to get the community more involved,” he said, ”I think whether you add one or five, it can make a difference.”