“During his first term, he modified or changed [numerous] department heads and brought credible personnel into key positions,” Plamondon said in a statement.
Fairburn’s bond rates increased three times.
“As a result, he saved Fairburn from [a financially vulnerable position] and the city is in a better financial situation than it was before he took office,” Plamondon said
Plamondon said with Fairburn better situated financially, Avery and the city council were in a better situation to implement economic development; and their teamwork helped bring to Fairburn businesses such as Cracker Barrel, Electrolux and Pittsburgh Paint and Glass Co.
“A crowning moment in Avery’s first term was this year’s Fairburn Fall Festival that attracted 8,000 people to the city,” Plamondon said.
In advance of the State of the City address Monday, Avery discussed what to expect in his second term, the importance of Fairburn having its own utility company and what makes Fairburn special.
Q: You’ve said that your No. 1 goal was to create “One Fairburn, One Family.” In your first four years, what progress have you made towards this goal?
A: Probably about 50 percent. The Fairburn Fall Festival was indicative of One Fairburn, One Family because it gave every group in the city a feeling they were represented. Our city government should be a representation of a big family, meaning, that you’re going to have brothers, sisters, bad kids and good kids. My position is that the activity that we try to bring forth to the city should be a representation that attracts every race, ethnicity and religious affiliate in hopes we can all come together.
Q: What are your top priorities for your next term?
A: Finish up a lot of what we started. We started a lot of economic development along Highway 74. We started upgrades downtown and at Duncan Park. The city council and I spent my first four years cleaning Fairburn up. And I want to spend my second four years bringing the city to a level of development, respectability and credibility. And a lot of that development and credibility started within the last 15 months and now is rolling over to the second term.
Q: Some people may not understand the importance of Fairburn having its own utility company. Could you explain why it’s important?
A: Because Fairburn has a utility company, we can buy our power in bulk at a discounted rate from Georgia Power. Also, because we’re a [Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia] city and we have our own utility company, our utility bills are lower than utility bills outside the city limits. We were hoping that the [tax allocation district] referendum that just failed would have passed because it would have given us the ability to negotiate with bigger companies that use so much power that we could drop our power rates. A way to get our utility rates down is to attract businesses that use a lot of power. The TAD was a tactic that we were hoping to be able to use to attract these large businesses.
Q: What makes Fairburn special?
A: People are proud to say they live in Fairburn. People are happy to live in Fairburn because you can see the upgrades, the new sidewalks. You can see the manifestations of actual development and actually see the government’s response to the people’s demands as related to a quality of life and efforts to improve quality of life. So there’s a love that was not here five years ago. There’s also respect and credibility by other regions and counties towards Fairburn.
The State of the City address is Monday at 6:30 p.m. at Landmark Christian School, 50 E. Broad St.