By Dublin Mayor Phil Best, GMA President
As we gain our footing for 2020, I’d like to share a few thoughts about GMA and my time so far as president.
I’ve been involved with GMA for 30 years now, and as much as any time in the past, exciting things are taking place at GMA. Larry Hanson is now beginning his third year as GMA’s executive director. Through his leadership and the work of dedicated staff on our behalf, GMA has positioned itself to continue to be a strong, engaged and influential institution that will make positive contributions to our state’s cities, their economic prosperity and quality-of-life.
One way GMA is looking to the future is through the 20 Under 40 Initiative. Established by the GMA Executive Committee in late 2019, this program gave 20 city officials under the age of 40 the opportunity to tell us how they would like to be involved in the association and how we can be more responsive to their needs and concerns. I’m very proud of this new endeavor.
I’m also excited about the potential of the recently appointed GMA Children and Youth Advisory Council. It will provide a much-needed forum for city officials to exchange ideas and information, as well as explore opportunities for collaboration with agencies and organizations whose mission focuses on assisting children and youth. This is important work that I believe will reflect the desire of so many city officials to create environments where their city’s children can thrive.
There’s more…GMA’s new non-profit, Georgia Cities Solutions (GCS), now has a managing director in place, and we’re close to naming the members of its Board. GCS has been created to fund initiatives that will help improve the quality-of-life of city residents and encourage careers in municipal government. In addition, GMA has taken on the responsibility of managing and staffing GeorgiaForward to include its Young Gamechangers program and annual forum. GeorgiaForward’s mission is to improve the state of Georgia by working as a catalyst to promote statewide conversations and partnerships by engaging young professionals and business, political, academic, and civic leaders. Learn more about the new leaders of these two entities on page pages 26 and 30.
We can’t forget the granddaddy of them all, GMA’s new headquarters project, which will include the construction of a new building and parking deck along with updating the current GMA building. In order to meet our future needs, it’s time for us to invest in our physical infrastructure. This project in many ways symbolizes all the great things happening within our association. It’s an honor and privilege to serve you and Georgia’s cities, and to be completely honest, it’s been an absolute blast so far. Why? Because it’s fun to be involved with an organization that is actively positioning itself for the future. Here’s to a great 2020 and beyond.
This article appears in the January/February 2020 edition of Georgia’s Cities Magazine