Conyers Mayor Randy Mills focused on “achieving excellence” in his State of the City address Wednesday night as the Conyers City Council highlighted public safety and economic development progress made in 2012.
“Our ultimate goal is to have a safe, welcoming and quality community,” Mayor Mills said to a large crowd including several elected officials and dignitaries of the community gathered to celebrate the city’s achievements at Cherokee Run Golf Club. “It is in our best interest to unite for the common good of Conyers and Rockdale County as a whole. I am very excited about the opportunities for economic development and community development in the coming year.”
Council member Gerald Hinesely, who works on finance and transportation committees, said the city’s departments have continued to do “more with less” due to a lean budget.
“For the last 22 consecutive years, the city has achieved the Distinguished Budget Award presented by the Government Finance Association,” Hinesley said. “Of the 535 cities in Georgia, only 25 receive this distinction. Conyers only ranks behind Newnan and Savannah in the number of years that has been given.”
Council member Dr. John Fountain, who has just completed his first year on the city council, gave an overview of community development progress made in 2012, most notably the establishment of the Gateway Design District. The new zoning district stretches from I-20 south to split of Ga. Highway 20 and Ga. Highway 138 and set new standards for a multi-disciplined approach to develop and redevelop the business district.
“The staff of the city is wonderful from top to bottom,” Fountain said of his first year working with the city. “They are extremely competent and care very much about the city."
Council member Chris Bowen detailed the increasing activity at the Georgia International Horse Park and the success of the new greens at the Cherokee Run Golf Course, which is owned by the city. Councilman Cleveland Stroud highlighted the work done on updating the public safety ordinance and the certification achievements made at the police department. Lastly, council member Vince Evans discussed economic development projects in the city over the last year to include expansions at Hillphoenix and Pratt Industries that will create hundreds of jobs locally.
Also during the ceremony Wednesday, Georgia International Horse Park facility maintenance manager Lonnie Abercrombie was recognized as the 2012 City Employee of the Year. After joining the city as an inspector in 1992, Abercrombie was instrumental during the development of the horse park and his insight and knowledge of the facility is deemed limitless.
“If anybody has a ‘can do’ attitude, it is this employee,” City Manager Lucas said. “He has the admiration of this city staff and we couldn’t do what we do at the Georgia International Horse Park without Lonnie. If the city employees had half of his attitude and his dedication to this community, there is no telling what we could do.”
The Conyers Police Department’s CALEA accreditation also took center stage as the council officially recognized the department’s national certification achievement. CALEA executive director Sylvester Daughtry Jr. presented the award, which was attained through a rigorous, 369-point examination of all aspects of the police department and represents an elite group of departments that exemplify best professional practices.
“It gives us a road map on where the department needs to go and it will be something we will all appreciate over the years,” CPD Chief Gene Wilson said during the ceremony. The three-year accreditation was effective Nov. 7, 2012, and the application process will be repeated in order for the accreditation to continue.
IN BRIEF: Conyers Mayor Randy Mills focused on "achieving excellence" in his state of the city address Wednesday night as the Conyers city council members highlighted public safety and economic development progress made in 2012.
"Our ultimate goal is to have a safe, welcoming and quality community," Mayor Mills said to a large crowd including several elected officials as well as dignitaries of the community gathered to celebrate the city's achievements at Cherokee Run Golf Club.
The Conyers Police Department's CALEA accreditation took center stage as the council officially recognized the department's national certification achievement before the city named Georgia International Horse Park facilities manager Lonnie Abercrombie as the city's 2012 Dee Buggay Employee of the Year.
Special recognition was also given to recently retired and former Conyers-Rockdale Economic Development Council Director Glenn Sears and to the Conyers Police Department for achieving CALEA international accreditation.
Check back later for more.