Beacon Debate August 13, 2009
Draft of Mayor Wood’s Opening
Thank you for organizing this debate.
Thank you for coming tonight and for your interest in the Roswell Mayor’s race. It is up to you to pick who is best qualified to lead Roswell on November 3rd.
I have been active in Roswell politics for more than 30 years.
I followed in the footsteps of my parents, Roy and Tilly Wood. My father was a conservationist, and he helped found the Chattahoochee Nature Center. My mother was a teacher, and she started the first kindergarten in Roswell.
When I first ran for city council in 1978, I committed, above all else, to see that Roswell remained a good place to live.
I have kept my commitment.
When I first ran for mayor, my vision for Roswell was a city where families came first and where neighborhoods and the environment were protected.
I promised to preserve Roswell’s Historic District and to set aside land for parks and green space along the Chattahoochee River and its creeks.
I have kept my promises.
When I became mayor of Roswell, we adopted as our mission that “we would make our city a family-oriented, safe and attractive community that respected our natural environment, protected our historic character, and celebrated our culture.”
We have accomplished that mission.
Under my leadership Roswell has invested over One Hundred Million Dollars in new streets, sidewalks, fire and police stations, and six hundred acres of land for ten new city parks.
We have partnered with businesses and non profits to preserve our history, protect our environment, strengthen our neighborhoods, celebrate our culture, and improve our schools.
We have reduced the number of city employees per capita by 26 % and cut costs per capita by 5% (adjusted for inflation), allowing us to lower our property tax rate by 17%.
We have reduced the crime rate by 31%, making us the safest city in Georgia with a population over 75,000.
Under my leadership, Roswell has been recognized as being:
In the top 3 best cities in the U.S. to raise a family ( Frommers)
In the top 10 best cities in the U.S. to relocate. (Forbes)
In the top 10 best places in the U.S. to Retire. (Black Enterprise Magazine)
In the top 20 Safest Cities in U.S. (FBI Statistics - cities over 75,000)
We have been named as :
The Best Place to Live in Metro Atlanta (Atlanta Magazine)
The first bicycle-friendly community in Georgia.
The first city in Georgia to receive an AAA bond rating.
I am proud of what Roswell has achieved under my leadership.
My opponents have good intentions, but they cannot match my record of achievements.
Thank you for coming tonight.
I remain committed, above all else, to making Roswell an even better place to live.
If you allow me to serve as your mayor for another four years, I promise to:
*Improve mobility by creating more connections like the recently completed Mimosa Street extension and the proposed road and bridge over Ga 400 reconnecting East and West Roswell.
*Reduce congestion by building more roundabouts like that underway at the intersection of Warsaw and Grimes Bridge Road and the proposed “Bow Tie” roundabouts on either side of South Atlanta Street at the river.
*Continue helping local businesses by doing more promotions like the “Find It All, Roswell”campaign.
*Continue making Roswell more attractive by doing more street-scape improvements like Canton Street and the ongoing Midtown and Oak Street projects..
*Encourage redevelopment by working with neighborhoods and local developers on more projects like that mixed use development approved last year across from Roswell’s Historic Square.
*Continue working with Mayor Galambos, Mayor Bodker, Mayor Lockwood, Mayor Letchas and Mayor Steel to create a shared fire and police training center and a joint 911 emergency response system for North Fulton County.
*Continue working with Senator Moody, and Representatives Harry Geisenger, Wendell Willard, and Jan Jones to re-create Milton County.
*Continue working with Senator Johnny Isakson and Congressman Tom Price to secure more Federal Grants for Roswell.
Over the past twelve years I have proven that I have the Ability, the Passion and the Courage to make Roswell a great place to live.
I have proven that I am a leader who keeps his promises.
If you elect me, I promise to make Roswell an even better place to live.
I would appreciate your vote on November 3rd.