(Thomson Mayor Kenneth Usry is a candidate for re-election Nov. 8. He graduated from Thomson High School in 1966 and is a member of the Thomson Presbyterian Church, where he has served as elder, deacon and treasurer. He has served as president of the Thomson Kiwanis Club and the Thomson Rotary Club, where he continues to be an active member. He is the husband of Kathy Usry, and they live at 218 Milledge St. A retired banker, he completes his first full term as mayor in December. He was a city councilman for more than 29 years before running for mayor. The following is a shortened form of a statement that Usry released upon filing for re-election.)
"Thomson's future is bright. We can boast of some outstanding accomplishments over the past four years, and we have lots of projects on the boards that will continue to improve our city. I have the time, enthusiasm and 33 years of leadership experience which will allow me to work to keep the city on the right track. I look forward to meeting with the citizens of Thomson to discuss our recent accomplishments, and I look forward to working with our citizens to make plans for our future!
"Over the past four years, the city's budget grew to more than $20,000,000. We operate four enterprise funds: water-sewer, solid waste, natural gas and the general fund, which includes the traditional services which are supported by tax dollars. We employ 103 people. The city currently levies 5.399 mills, which generates some $722,000. In addition, a local option sales tax generates revenue for the city's operation. ..."
Other highlights: serves on the board of directors of the Georgia Municipal Association and as chairman of its Municipal Government Policy Committee; has worked closely with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, especially in the area of housing; has worked with the state Department of Natural Resources on water quality and water treatment; serves on the board of directors of the Georgia Municipal Gas Authority.
Major accomplishments: operated city government efficiently with no tax increases; increased involvement in the office of mayor to near full-time to create closer working relationship with council members and key city employees; reviewed and influenced plans and appearance of the Thomson-McDuffie Government Center; completed the Main Street landscape, sidewalks and off-street parking project, using a $500,000 Department of Transportation grant; used $50,000 USDA grant to create parking at the new Chamber of Commerce location; received and utilized other state and federal grants; renovated 15 homes in the Strawberry Hills and Pitts Street area.