The general public, friends and former colleagues are invited to attend a reception honoring long time Thomson Mayor Robert E. Knox, Jr. The reception is open to the public and will be held between 2 and 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 30, at the Thomson Depot, one of the many public facilities which Mayor Knox played a pivotal role in making available to the community.
There will be a brief period for comments and a presentation at 3 p.m.
Mayor Knox first assumed office on Jan. 8, 1979, and has been Thomson's Mayor since that time. During this period he served on numerous boards and commissions at the state level and represented Thomson and McDuffie County with distinction. However, more important to Mayor Knox was his service to the citizens of Thomson and McDuffie County. Some of the accomplishments during his term of office include:
- Along with county leadership, he forged a working relationship and partnership between the City of Thomson and McDuffie County. As a result, Thomson and McDuffie County serve today as a model for other local units of government. The two governments actively pursue joint projects and work to prevent duplication in services. Consolidated services now include:
- The Thomson-McDuffie County Recreation Department
- Thomson-McDuffie County Airport
- Creation of the Thomson-McDuffie County Water and Sewer Commission to serve as an administrative body to oversee and development a common system. The system currently enjoys two sources of drinking water with two treatment plants.
- Forward McDuffie - a City-County joint Economic Development Effort
- A City County Planning Department Staff
- Thomson-McDuffie County Information Technology Office
- Joint Law Enforcement Dispatching
- Joint use of jail facilities
- Joint applications for Federal and State Grants.
- Joint planning and implementation of Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax projects (SPLOST).
- Creation of position of City Administrator (1980) and a professional staff to administer the day to day affairs of the City.
- The renovation and construction of the Thomson Depot as a public meeting facility.
- Designation of the City as a Class IV fire rating following water system improvements
- The successful pursuit of millions of dollars of Federal and State Grants to work in the areas of housing, the expansion of public works projects like water, sewer, sidewalks, downtown renovation, expansion of industrial parks and facilities, etc.
- Representation of Thomson and McDuffie County positively and professionally through hours of service on State Boards and Commissions.
- Reducing the City's ad valorem tax base by the use of sound management, sales tax funds, and conservative fiscal policies and common sense
During this period he has also represented Thomson state-wide, serving on numerous state appointed boards. He was elected by his colleagues to serve as President of the Georgia Municipal Association from 1983-1984. Mayor Knox was honored by the organization this past summer when GMA changed the name of the Leadership Institute for Municipal Elected Officials at the University of Georgia, to the Robert E. Knox, Jr. Municipal Leadership Institute.
Mayor Knox was one of the founding members of the Georgia Municipal Gas Authority (MGAG), an authority that was formed in response to the deregulation of wholesale natural gas in 1985.
The Department of Community Affairs or DCA was another State Agency Board that Mayor Knox served on beginning in July, 1989. He was elected chairman of that Board in 1991.
In November, 1993 Mayor Knox was appointed to serve on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority. He served as chairman for two terms and remained on the board until December 2006 a total of 13 years service.
Throughout his service as Mayor, Mr. Knox also served as member of the Central Savannah River Area Rural Development Center. He chaired numerous committees and also served as chairman of the RDC.
Mayor Knox has been as active in the community as he has in working in local government. For the past 10 years he has served as Chair or Co-chairman of the Thomson-McDuffie Relay for Life. The local effort is always number one or two in the nation in terms of the dollars raised per person residing in the county.
Mayor Knox was married to the former Dorothy Meadows of Cochran in December of 1979. They have three daughters: Mary Ann, a physician completing a residency in North Carolina, Laura, a magazine editor working in Atlanta, and Dotty, a senior at the University of Georgia in Athens. The Knoxes are members of the First United Methodist Church.