COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Before a jam-packed room at Columbus State University’s Cunningham Center on Friday, Columbus’ newly installed mayor, Skip Henderson spoke on the State of the City in 2019.
For his first state of the city address, Henderson focused on making Columbus a better and forward moving-city.
“We have challenges, but I think we are always going to have challenges. The key is how we pull together and collaborate and attack them,” said Henderson.
Throughout the address, Henderson focused on several different topics, including bringing more jobs to the area, tackling violent crime, by more community partnerships in an effort to make the streets safer, and infrastructure.
Infrastructure, he says is one of the top priorities of the city.
“We need to create an environment where young people want to come back to Columbus, chase their dream of business ownership, get married and be able to live work and play in this community,” said Henderson.
The proposal of a one percent sales tax was introduced to help maintenance of roads and help with future of Columbus Government Center.
During his speech, the mayor also announced one million dollars will be added to this years budget to help demolish dilapidated trailer parks and further beautification. The announcement was followed by cheers and applause.
“Hopefully through this we will send a visual message that their quality of life is important and we care about them," said Henderson.
The mayor also acknowledged the issue of crime, and says he is working on different ways to combat the issue, specifically violent crimes.
“Crime is an issue we are going to have to deal with on a number of different fronts. Another part of that we have to stop the food supply of criminals. We have to prevent crimes before they happen," said Henderson.
An emphasis is being put on getting more people to work in law enforcement, Henderson told attendees.
The Columbus police department is reportedly short 84 personnel, and the Sheriff Department short 38 people.
Overall, Henderson says he is optimistic on what is to come, and wants Columbus to be in a “better place” in four years.
Henderson says it’s all about focusing on the basics, and expanding from there.
“If we can get them to Columbus, get their feet on the ground, then we got them Columbus is an amazing community, we are going to try and share with them some things that make it so special," said Henderson.