Bickley Reeves is the winner of this year’s ‘If I Was Mayor’ Essay Contest. Dawson Fleming is the runner-up. The contest is part of the annual Make Thomaston Shine and Georgia Cities Week. The Top 10 essay finalists were honored at the Thomaston City Council meeting Tuesday night.
Thomaston Mayor Hays Arnold was absent from the meeting. Mayor Pro Tem Doug Head said Arnold was attending a Georgia Department of Transportation meeting in Atlanta to promote the Import/Export Highway.
Head, who presided in the mayor’s absence, praised the students for their hard work, stating that is it is encouraging to see students taking an interest in their community and government, since they are the future leaders of Thomaston.
To prepare for the essays, the middle school sent selected students over to interview Mayor Arnold about his job, plus a video team to record the interview. Then all the sixth grade students watched the video before writing their essays.
Council member Patsy Perdue announced the Top 10 essay finalists and gave each one a pin and certificate. The Top 10 are Ryleigh Cathcart, Dawson Fleming, Trey Flowers, Harlie-Kate Hurst, Coy Kirkland, Merideth Lew, Lily Painter, Bree Phillips, Bickley Reeves, and Hailey Sullivan.
Perdue then announced the winner and runner-up. As winner, Bickley Reeves will receive $100. As runner-up, Dawson Fleming will receive $50. Fleming read his essay, then Reeves read her essay. Below is Reeves’ winning essay:
“Pay those bills, bring that business in, and let’s add some fountains also!” Have you ever wondered what you would do if you were mayor? Would you get frustrated and have to give up? A mayor is someone who is in charge of your town or city. A mayor has to be smart, make good decisions, and tell the city to be strong in a tough situation. They are like a mom or dad to our town or city, and we refer to them as our mayor. If I were mayor, I would create new laws, encourage new businesses and housing, and have certain ways to spend the city’s money.
To begin with, if I were mayor, I would introduce new laws/ordinances. I would have mandatory neighborhood watches. This would help cut down on crime in our neighborhoods. I would create an ordinance that would require monthly clean up days. This new law would decrease littering, and make the town more eye-catching for tourists and people driving through. I would also have quality family days. Families are spreading apart more in the U.S., I want our community to have a strong bond with their families. The final new ordinance I would enforce would be to require community members to carpool. This would cut down on air pollution and make our community much cleaner.
Also, if I were mayor, I would encourage new businesses and housing. We should have more restaurants. For example, we could add such restaurants as Chic-Fil-A and Arby’s. Trust me, people love good food. I would want to bring in more modern choices for shopping like Forever 21, Bass Pro Shop, and Target. This would bring a large number of people into our town, as well as create more jobs for people in our community. I would build town houses in our community. These are neat apartment buildings that are very modern and eye-catching for younger people. We also need more entertainment. I would bring in entertainment such as bowling, skating, laser tag, and an arcade. This would draw many more families into our town.
Finally if I were mayor, I would choose how the ciy should spend their money. I would spend money on clean community projects. These projects would help keep our community as clean as possible. If our community is clean, it will attract more people and businesses. I would spend money on improving our roads and sidewalks. This would help make our community as safe as possible. I would also put money into saving and restoring historical places. This would draw older people to our community and give them places that would remind them of when they were younger. Overall, I would work on growing our community. I would really try to spend money to attract new businesses and people.
In conclusion, I think that being a mayor is very important and a very hard job. A mayor has many responsibilities like introducing new laws, encouraging new businesses and housing, and choosing how to spend the city’s money. Would you like to be mayor? Would you like to have that power? Mayors are very Important to a community, and just think could you survive in your mayor’s shoes?
Larry Stanford may be reached at 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @LarryStanford7.