MILLEDGEVILLE — Making Milledgeville a better place for college graduates and young families to locate is a goal of 29-year-old Andrew Strickland, who announced his intentions to run for the District 6 City Council seat Tuesday.
Strickland has worked with the Milledgeville Patriots since moving to the city. He said the group supports seeing someone new thrown into the local leadership elections.
“They were encouraged by it. People are ready to see some change happen around Milledgeville to get past some of the mediocrity I feel I going on as far as leadership goes,” Strickland said.
Strickland and wife Gracie share two young children. They moved to Milledgeville after a New Year's Eve 2011 marriage.
The aspiring city councilman said his family boosts interest in seeing Milledgeville better itself.
“I think there is plenty of room for improvement,” he said. “The more I got involved in talking with people the more I fell in love with the community and the more I wanted to help out. That's what this is all about.”
Making the city ultra business-friendly sits a top Strickland's agenda.
He said business leaders are often frustrated by “nitpicky” regulation.
“We need to work on making sure that Milledgeville is the easiest place around to do business,” the District 6 resident said.
Strickland and several other Tea Party members have dissected the unification charter presented two months ago from cover to cover.
Though he supports smaller, simpler government, Strickland is against the document as written because it allows creation of special tax districts.
“I'm adamantly against that because I think government should treat all citizens equally,” Strickland said. “There is no limit to what [local government] can and can't do in that charter.”
If elected, the ambitious District 6 challenger said city officials should push harder to open up vacant Central State Hospital properties for redevelopment efforts.
Strickland said “going to meetings twice a month and saying your yays and nays” wouldn't cut it anymore.
“Central State is the biggest untapped asset that we have our hands on. In my mind, we have to hold the state of Georgia accountable for what they've done to us,” he said. “It's time our leaders stand up and say enough is enough give us our land back. I'm fed up with it.”
Altering the status quo of city operations by putting money aside to curb general fund shortfalls is another goal of the intended City Council candidate. Finding methods to build a bankroll is a necessity.
“It's time we examine and refine all processes of government to identify and eliminate waste and inefficiencies,” he said.
Overall, the 29-year-old looks forward to exchanging ideas with Milledgeville residents.
“I've got energy, and I'm passionate about these things. I refuse to accept that we have to have mediocre dreams about Milledgeville,” Strickland said. “We can have the best little town in America here, but we have to work to make it that way. This is where I want to raise my family.”
Strickland was born in Mississippi but grew up in Gwinnett County. He's worked as a paramedic for the last 10 years.
Currently, the District 6 council seat challenger works every third day at the Newton Medical Center in Covington. The likely city candidate still has to qualify this August.
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