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After all, It's your city
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As we celebrate Georgia Cities Week, I’d like to tell you about the state of the city. First, and foremost, we have a strong wealth of value and knowledge in our city employees.

Day in and day out they are in the trenches trying to make the city run smoothly, efficiently and doing everything they can to maximize your tax dollars. They do a great job in all areas. As our city grows, so do all the things that cities provide. I am very proud of our staff, and based upon many comments I receive, so are you.

Local governments have much more day-to- day contact with taxpayers than either state or federal governments. And as such, city employees take their jobs very seriously. I’d venture to say that if the average taxpayer knew all the things the city departments do on a regular basis, they’d be astounded.

If you happen to see a city employee, tell them thanks for the good job they do. It’ll make their day.

The state of the city is strong financially. For more than six years, the city’s millage rate has dropped. While the city has no control over property assessments, it means that the tax rates continue to drop. That’s good for all city residents. The city is on solid footing with sufficient funds to run your government and make it the best city we can. I‘m very proud of those who work and manage our funds.

The city is growing in terms of real estate. Yes, the market is down, but we had our second best year ever in 2007 with regard to issuing building permits. That is a strong vote for the continued viability of your city. People like Richmond Hill and its way of life.

The city’s streetscape project is on track and you should see construction beginning in the city hall area soon. Another example of people making your city all it can be.

We continue to draw visitors and residents to festivals like the Seafood Festival, July 4th Festival, etc. Those events are always packed and it’s a good way to showcase our city to those who visit.

After a two-year delay that was beyond our control, the city center or community center is moving along well. Despite what you may have read, the center is going to be a great benefit to the city and all its residents. It will provide a place for families to gather, schools to hold graduation ceremonies, conferences to be held, and more. I promise you it is a facility that you will be proud of. And the aquatic center has not been forgotten. We are working hard to make that happen also.

All of these activities, and more, represent a city moving forward. A city with a vision and a city you will be proud of. It wouldn’t be possible without the diligent efforts of our employees. They deserve the credit.

My door and the door of City Manager Mike Melton are always open. Tell us what you think as your city moves forward. I hope you are taking advantage of the activities during Georgia Cities Week, which starts Sunday.

After all, it’s your city.

Davis is mayor of Richmond Hill.

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