Advancing the City of Milledgeville as a Bicycle Friendly Community and a Camera Ready film destination are major points for 25-year-old Walter Reynolds.
As a guest at Tuesday’s Milledgeville Area Tea Party Patriots gathering, Reynolds officially announced his campaign for the City Council District 4 seat.
The hopeful councilman was invited to the Tea Party meeting and felt stating political intentions in front of the informed, concerned group was appropriate.
“I’ve been thinking about this for a long time and to be able to come out in the open and say ‘I’m going to do this’ felt great. It was more of a relief to get it out there than anything,” he said.
Reynolds is a lifelong resident of Baldwin County. He said understanding the balance of college student and permanent resident interests remains a key component of the District 4 campaign.
“I think my energy will bring a lot to the office. I fully respect the rights of the residents that have lived here and believe that those should be upheld first and foremost,” Reynolds said. “We want university students to stay here but respect their neighbors.”
The 25-year-old said public interest has been a part of his family for a long time. Reynolds thinks the city needs young leadership that can get things done.
“I think it’s important that young adults and everyone in the community be involved in some way, shape or form. Being active and doing good things in the community has always been part of my drive,” Reynolds said.
The District 4 challenger said making the city truly bike friendly utilizing students and the Bicycling Club of Milledgeville could tie together the Oconee River Greenway, downtown and Central State Hospital.
“I think it would enhance us as a tourist destination for cyclists if we went ahead and moved forward with gaining bicycle friendly certification,” he said.
Using Georgia’s current place as a film destination looms large on Reynolds agenda if elected.
Growing Milledgeville as a Camera Ready town by creating an online catalog of film locations could expedite the process someone goes through to film here.
“Let’s make it as easy as possible to film our beautiful town and show it off to the rest of the world,” Reynolds said. “That could lead to a large growth of industry at Central State Hospital. I think that is a huge potential revenue generator.”
Reynolds said gaining control of vacant Central State property would speed up economic progress.
Doing whatever it takes to gain local control is in play for the District 4 resident and aspiring city official.
“I think having the first and final say so on what happens with property within the limits of our city and our county is vitally important,” Reynolds said.
When discussing the Milledgeville and Baldwin County unification charter released to the public, he sees merit, but hopes for alterations before the document comes to a vote.
Reynolds prefers more diversion of policing power and no special tax districts as described in the unification framework.
“I think the charter is a great start,” he said. “With a few adjustments from both the county and the city, we can meet in the middle and find common ground.”
Reynolds said reevaluating city funding of certain programs for better use of citizen tax dollars “behooves us to make sure we are using our resources in the best and most efficient way possible.”
The District 4 seat seeker is a graduate of Baldwin High School and Georgia Military College and continued studies in rhetoric at Georgia College.
In 2007, Reynolds began working for Southern Stone Broadcasting at Z97. He is now Z97 director of programming and promotions.
Reynolds works with Milledgeville’s First Friday Committee, Baldwin College and Career Academy Advisory Board and The Mayor’s Commission on Youth Leadership and Baldwin Fine Arts.
The aspiring District 4 City Councilman also serves as the treasurer of The Oconee River Greenway Foundation and chairman of The Young Professionals of Milledgeville.
The potential city candidate still has to qualify in August to run for office. Councilman Phillip Joiner currently holds the District 4 post.