What began as a 10-minute stopover for Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue at the Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport is now a "Saturday With Sonny" - an event aimed at allowing local residents some face time with the state's top executive.
"Saturdays with Sonny is a personal initiative of Gov. Sonny Perdue," said Shane Hix, deputy press secretary. "It provides Gov. Perdue with the opportunity to hear directly from citizens about important state and community issues."
The Thomson-McDuffie Saturday With Sonny will be from 7:15-8:45 a.m. on Saturday, July 30. Citizens will have five minutes with the Governor to share their thoughts, discuss an issue or ask a question.¬†
The meetings will not be open to media or registered lobbyists. Up to four people are allowed to meet with the governor at one time. Mr. Hix said in the past, topics citizens have discussed have covered "everything from adoptions, DFACS, education, budget concerns, and healthcare, to specific local and community issues."
To meet personally with Governor Perdue, citizens must reserve an appointment in advance by calling the Governor's Constituent Services Hotline at (404) 656-1776.¬†Reservations will be accepted beginning Monday, July 25 at 8 a.m. on a first come, first served basis.
"The appointment slots usually fill up in the first hour, we have a heavy response," Mr. Hix said. "However, no phone calls for appointments will be accepted before Monday."
Depending on availability, reservations will not be accepted after 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 26.
Participants are asked to arrive no earlier than 7 a.m. on Saturday, July 30. In order to meet with Governor Perdue, participants must have a scheduled appointment and identification.
Officials announced last week that the governor would be flying into the local airport on July 30 en route to a Republican Party Fish Camp Breakfast in Columbia County. State Sen. Jim Whitehead asked the governor for 10 minutes at the airport so local leaders could give a 10-minute presentation to the governor on improvements needed at the airport along with other ideas to encourage development in the five-county area surrounding Clarks Hill Lake.
Gov. Perdue has held 21 "Saturdays With Sonny" since he took office in 2003. The event allows the governor to hear from citizens about their concerns.