COLUMBUS, Ga. – Mayor Teresa Tomlinson says the city has moved mountains in saving taxpayers millions but it’s time to address the elephant in the room.
Tomlinson held her annual State of the City.
She talked about the highs and lows of 2015 and what she plans to focus on in the new year.
Mayor Teresa Tomlinson,
<“Our Columbus region has had net zero job growth over the last 30 years or so.”>
Mayor Teresa Tomlinson says Columbus is outpaced by almost every city of comparable size in a six state region in job growth.
Tomlinson says this is shocking and says part of the reason may be due a decision made thirty years ago.
When community leaders decided not to extend I-85 through the city – having economic opportunities pass by.
She says those leaving Muscogee County earn $2500 more than those who stay.
“No legitimate claim can be made that our property tax freeze is anything but detrimental for this city,” says Tomlinson.
Tomlinson addressed some big achievements.
She says in just one year Columbus has housed or has the capacity and resources to house all of the city’s 86 homeless veterans.
This is one of the goals of zero 2016.
Columbus is one of 71 communities participating in this movement to end veteran and chronic homelessness.
“Few cities have accomplished such collaboration and yet here we are in the forefront of cities nationally. Folks, that’s a miracle,” she says.
Mayor Tomlinson says in 2016 Columbus also needs to make public transportation more accessible and desirable.
So people have the option to leave their cars in their garages.
She also reflected about the best and worst moments of 2015.
She says the best is achieving the high goals of ending homelessness for veterans and the worst is the lawsuit from elected officials.