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Viewpoints

Healthy Downtown Trends: Beyond the Buzzwords
April 19, 2017
Tommy Lowmon, Communications & Training Coordinator, Georgia Department of Community Affairs
What was once a one sided press release or publication, from which citizens received information about things happen­ing in their communities after the plan was in mo­tion, is now becoming more of a conversation to which people have the opportunity to add valuable input. This “exchange of information” is a necessary component of the communication process.

Business Incubator Brings Variety to Downtown Macon
April 10, 2017
By Erika Conleay, Director of Place, NewTown Macon
Coworking space provides a professional environment with low operat­ing costs for startups and a lower commitment than opening a traditional storefront. Another large ben­efit of working in a shared space is the natural net­working and collaboration opportunities that happen when multiple businesses and startups work side-by-side. 
 

We Must Stay "In the Mix" to Keep Cities Moving Forward
April 10, 2017
Dallas Mayor Boyd Austin, GMA President
The annual festival season begins in earnest with the advent of spring. These local celebrations laud the unique character, products, natural resources and traditions of our individual cities. Later this month, many of our cities will be celebrating Georgia Cities Week, one of GMA’s popular initiatives. “Georgia Cities: In the Mix” is this year’s theme and will be celebrated April 23-29. 

Civic Buildings Positively Impact Downtown Revitalization
April 5, 2017
Stephanie S. Aylworth, Economic Development Director, City of Powder Springs
Decentralization of civic buildings is not considered a best practice for downtown revitalization. The effects are damaging if not severe to a town or city’s downtown economy.

A Better Future for Rural Communities Starts at the Schoolhouse
March 10, 2017
Paul Hill, Founder, Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington Bothel
President Donald Trump’s voters in rural areas and small towns made a point: they were left behind while a lot of the country made economic progress, and they want that to change.

Cities Charged to Work Together to Uncover Solutions
March 8, 2017
Lamar Norton, GMA Executive Director
With the Legislature in session it seems we spend a lot of time defending “local control” and fighting “unfunded mandates.” Each year we get a different set of rules that limit our ability to deliver services expected by the taxpayers while doing so with less revenue.

We Must Address Challenges to Build Prosperous Communities
February 10, 2017
Dallas Mayor Boyd Austin, GMA President
I experienced three remarkable things over the last few days: the peaceful transfer of power from the Obama Administration to the Trump Administration, a true hallmark of our democracy; another fantastic Mayors’ Day Conference in Atlanta; and the Atlanta Falcons winning the NFC Championship (Rise Up!).

Cities Strong, Together in 2017
February 10, 2017
Clarence Anthony, Executive Director and CEO, National League of Cities
In the nation’s capital, the remark­able success of the Republican Party in the 2016 election contradicted expectations and changed the way many in Washington understand campaigns and the electorate. 

Breweries Mean Business: A Change that Tastes like Urban Renewal
January 27, 2017
Michael McPherson, GMA Government Relations Associate
In Georgia, brewers are currently at a competitive disadvantage because they are not allowed to sell to the general public at their production site or associated venue. Georgia’s “three tier system” requirements do not allow for sales on site, while all of the states sur­rounding Georgia have done away with this specific limitation.

It’s Your Deal: Understanding the Roles and Responsibilities When Issuing Municipal Bonds
January 24, 2017
Lynnette Kelly, Executive Director, Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board
Financing a public project with municipal bonds is a team effort in which many professionals work together to achieve the goals of the municipality. But as government officials considering issuing municipal bonds in 2017, keep in mind that it’s your deal.

State of the State: Georgia Will 'Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative'
January 11, 2017
Governor Nathan Deal
Text of Gov. Nathan Deal's State of the State address delivered on January 11, 2017.

City Officials Must Build Relationships in the New Year
January 10, 2017
Lamar Norton, GMA Executive Director
The New Year is upon us and each new year brings the General Assembly back into session. This time is a critical time for each city official—elected or appointed—to make an effort to educate these well-intended individuals with the issues that impact cities and how we can work together for solutions.
 

Tax Credits Offer Hope for Rural Hospital Turnaround
January 6, 2017
By Sen. Dean Burke (R–Bainbridge)
Georgia’s rural healthcare system is in crisis. This is not just a rural problem or a medical problem; it is a problem for all Georgians. 
 

Using Municipal Courts the ‘Right Way’
November 16, 2016
Susan Moore, GMA General Counsel
A well-run municipal court enhances public safety and improves the overall quality of life within a city. A poorly run municipal court can cost a mu­nicipality in both reputation and rev­enue. Which one does your city have?

Georgia Leads the Nation in Meaningful Justice Reform
November 14, 2016
Governor Nathan Deal
Our message to those in our prison system and to their families is this: If you pay your dues to society, if you take advantage of the opportunities to better your­self, if you discipline yourself so that you can regain your freedom and live by the rules of society, you will be given the chance to reclaim your life. I intend for Georgia to continue leading the nation with meaning­ful justice reform.

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