It’s a new day in the City of Guyton with the swearing in of three new city officials.
Judge Ronald Thompson issued the oaths of office for Mayor Andy Harville, Councilman Jeremiah Chancey, and Councilman Theodore Hamby Tuesday night as all three were sworn in for their first term. They took their oaths before a packed event held at the Guyton Gym.
City employees joined in for the event, including City Manager Maketa Brown and City Clerk Fabian Mann. Police Chief James Breletic was not present.
TheGeorgiaVirtue spoke with the three new officials about their priorities in the coming weeks:
Mayor Andy Harville
As the new year begins, the City of Guyton is looking forward to a new chapter of growth and progress. As the newly elected Mayor, my top priorities are public safety, infrastructure improvement, and building a stronger community.
Ensuring public safety is a crucial aspect of any community. As Mayor, I will work closely with law enforcement and restore the trust and respect that Guyton PD has lost over the past few years.
Fixing our infrastructure is an essential priority. By addressing issues like road maintenance, water quality, and waste management, we can improve the quality of life for our citizens. Additionally, we will work to attract new businesses and residents to our community by creating a more attractive and accessible city.
The relationship between the community and its elected officials is built on trust. I will work tirelessly to earn and maintain the trust of our citizens by promoting transparency and accountability in all aspects of city government. By keeping citizens informed and engaged, we can work together to make Guyton a better place to live, work, and raise a family.
Finally, bringing our community together is vital to building a brighter future. By fostering a sense of pride and unity in our city, we can work together to achieve our common goals. As Mayor, I will work tirelessly to bring our community together, creating a stronger, more vibrant city for us all.
Harville also said he asked the city manager to begin allowing comments on social media accounts effective Wednesday. Commenting by the public had previously been limited by the former administration after a flurry of negative comments about the police department.
Councilman Jeremiah Chancey
Chancey said his priorities remain identical to what he promised on the campaign trail: Wastewater Treatment Plant, Stormwater Runoff Issues, and the Historic District.
The WWTP is a ‘dire situation,’ and Chancey said Tuesday that there is a hard deadline for any remedies. Following his victory in November, both he and Theodore Hamby toured the plant and met with EOM officials in preparation of hitting the ground running on Day 1.
As for the Stormwater Runoff issues, Chancey said the City Manager is already exploring options for CBDG grants to alleviate some of the costs that taxpayers would burden.
When asked what he’s most excited about in regard to taking office alongside a new administration, Chancey told TGV “Just bringing The People back in to government – them having a say in what’s going on, them being part of the process.”
On the campaign trail, Chancey vowed to donate his council salary to area 501(c)3 organizations, some of which were selected or recommended by citizens.
Councilman Theodore Hamby
As we embark on our term in office, the initial 100 days hold immense significance. Today marks the beginning of Mayor Harville, Councilman Chancey, and my tenure, with the first 100 days concluding on April 11, 2024. During my campaign, I articulated a comprehensive five-point plan to propel Guyton forward, and I remain steadfast in fulfilling that commitment.
Effective governance hinges on open communication within the council, a principle we have already embraced even before officially assuming office. This bodes well for the future of Guyton, setting a positive tone for what lies ahead.
Our administration seeks to usher in a new era for Guyton—a beacon of trust and transparency. The five-point plan underscores my priorities for the first 100 days: addressing crucial drainage and sewage issues, optimizing City Hall efficiency, pursuing tax elimination through smart growth, bolstering public trust in our police department, and enhancing recreational facilities.
Guyton stands at a pivotal juncture, and our goal is to become a city that others turn to for guidance. Collaborating with esteemed organizations and fellow council members, I am actively engaged in crafting historic criminal justice reform legislation for our city.
Drainage and sewage concerns demand urgent attention, and we are committed to resolving these issues within a tight timeframe. While acknowledging past challenges, we, as the current stewards, are determined not only to solve them but to improve upon the status quo. Though I won’t guarantee the completion of every item on our agenda within the first 100 days, rest assured, we will set the wheels in motion, steering Guyton in the right direction.
In our capacity as a legislative body, we anticipate healthy debates and agreements, recognizing that these dynamics are integral to the functioning of our democracy. I embrace this challenge with the understanding that the substantial voter turnout has entrusted us with the responsibility to bring positive change to our beloved city.