South Fulton mayor: We're on right track
By: Chris Menees Messenger Staff Reporter
By CHRIS MENEES
Messenger Staff Reporter
South Fulton Mayor Ron Haskins believes the city is headed in the right direction as 2008 begins.
For starters, South Fulton has a new city manager, Jeff Vowell, to lead the way.
Haskins had served as interim city manager for nearly three months during the last quarter of 2007 as the South Fulton City Commission searched for a replacement to former city manager Kathy Dillon, who resigned effective Sept. 28 to accept a position with the City of Union City.
After many interviews and after making an offer to an out-of-state candidate who ultimately turned it down, the commission voted in early December to extend the job offer to Vowell, a Twin Cities native who has a background in banking and production. He began work Dec. 20.
Haskins said he was pleased to see his fellow commissioners finally hire a city manager and he believes Vowell is proving to be a quick learner.
“We’re on the right track, I think. He’s local, has roots in the community,” Haskins said. “I wanted the best person for the job. He seems to be pretty good.”
In looking back at the past year, Haskins said he believes he needs to give credit, in particular, to a couple of city departments and their directors.
“(Hubert) Maynard — he’s the director of (South Fulton) Public Works — has been able to run the department with a staff that’s short and do it proficiently,” Haskins said. “And the (South Fulton) Police Department is in the same category. The funding is from two different things, but if we had another police officer, we would have to raise property taxes, which people don’t like. Between the public works director and the police department running on staff they have available, they’ve done it proficiently.”
Haskins said another highlight is a park project that began to be discussed in 2007 and will continue well into 2008.
“Even though it’s not completed yet, (South Fulton City Commissioner) David Crocker has spearheaded the parks and recreation committee,” the mayor said. “We don’t have a park in South Fulton and we’re hoping he’ll start the ball rolling this year on that. It might take a couple of years.”
The South Fulton City Commission voted last month to get an appraisal on some property, one of the first steps necessary in seeking grant funding for a park for the community.
“We’re one of the few communities with no park,” Haskins said.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 1.2.08
new city manager Jeff Vowell, South Fulton