This is how Lovejoy Mayor Bobby Cartwright expressed his sentiments following his address to the first meeting of the new commission earlier this month.
“I am extremely optimistic about the new Clayton County commission,” he said. “My relationship with Chairman Jeff Turner is going to be much stronger than the one I had with the previous chairman and I welcome that.”
Cartwright said that in the span of little more than 25 days since Turner took the oath of office, he has already had more conversations with the county’s new chief executive than he had during either of the terms of his predecessor.
“I can say without a doubt that Jeff Turner will do what he said he will do,” Cartwright added.
Lovejoy’s mayor also praised new Clayton County Commission Shana Rooks whom he first met while she was campaigning.
“Commissioner Rooks started out knowing little about politics but I feel she is doing an outstanding job,” Cartwright said.
He also believes that under Turner’s administration, Lovejoy will no longer be thought of as “the very small city at the bottom end of the county,”
Cartwright explained the population census numbers he had seen puts Lovejoy as the third or fourth largest Clayton County municipality.
“Even though the census said we had a population of around 6,800, other statistics I have seen place us at having somewhere around 7,400 population,” Cartwright said.
He said he believes Lovejoy’s population has definitely grown based on what he views as a rapidly dwindling number of foreclosed properties and empty homes in the city.
Cartwright acknowledges there has been a “shift in power” with regard to Clayton County government.
“After the previous commission created a county manager position, Clayton County had a strong county manager and weak commission chairman form of government,” Cartwright said.
“The people elected former Chairman Bell to run the county but the commission at that time didn’t allow him to do that when the county manager position was created,” he said.
Cartwright added that he does not believe a sitting board of commissioners should make that type of determination for its constituents.
However, he believes Clayton County has a bright future ahead of it with the new commission.