Quiet success and financial health were the highlights of the State of the City address Thursday night at the Georgia International Horse Park.
Conyers Mayor Randy Mills was sworn in for his fourth term as Mayor before a room packed with the county and city leaders and residents.
"The state of the city is strong," said Mills. "Not all cities and counties can say that today…. We have weathered the deepest recession of our lifetime and even though it will be several quarters before we get into a growth cycle, we feel the worst is behind us."
Mills described the working with the city staff and council as being so seamless that they often knew what he was going to say before he did. "It’s been said that great communities are often built by low-profile, consensus building leaders," said Mills. "They’re so quietly doing the job you’re not noticing them doing the job until you look back and see the many stepping stones of their success. "
Mills also acknowledged the spirited November election, saying carefully, "This last election was… very, very interesting."
"The most important thing that occurred… was people got involved in the process," he said, describing how even residents outside the city got involved.
Councilmen Chris Bowen and Cleveland Stroud were also sworn in for another term.
Each councilman gave a report on the city’s progress and accomplishments, including charrettes to plan out live-work developments, projects such as the PATH trail and the beautification of the West Avenue corridor, the creation of Big Haynes Creek park paths and trails, street and intersection improvements, public safety improvements such as an upgrade to the 911 center and wireless communication network, and federal and state grants received.
Mills also described some of the issues the city faced in the coming year, including supporting another Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), creating jobs and creating a business friendly atmosphere, and addressing transportation along with other counties and cities.
Local community members were also recognized for their contributions to the city’s life. The winners of this year’s Spirit of Conyers awards were O.T. Adams, Jean Hambrick, David LaMalva, Cesare Matrundola, Larry Perry, Bill Spivey, Mike Sullivan and Zia Usmani.
The winner of the 2009 Dee Buggay Award of Excellence for a city employee went to Charles Drakes of the public works department.