Mayor-elect Tomlinson already on the job

By Andrew Wittenberg  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The election may be over, but the job is just beginning for the next Mayor of Columbus, Teresa Tomlinson.

A little more than a week after winning in a runoff against Zeph Baker, Tomlinson has already set up shop on the sixth floor of the Columbus Consolidated Government Center.

She won't officially take office until next month, but Tomlinson is already working.

Taking up a post in the Mayor Pro-Tem's office since last Friday, it's a new feeling every day.

"Every day I have sort of moments, where different things sink in, the gravity of different things set it," Tomlinson said.

One main goal she has is to inject more life in the economically-depressed area of south Columbus.

The fuel is base realignment, or BRAC, which will bring troops and their families.

The accelerant, small business and investors, who hope to make a living from the added population.

"How are you going to bring businesses to south Columbus until you create a market in which they can exist in?"

"I think it's important to realize that what I'm talking about is not begging people to start their businesses in south Columbus, it's starting by creating and economic infrastructure, which those businesses want to come to," Tomlinson said.

That issue will take time.

In the short term, she's working with current Mayor Jim Wetherington's staff.

"Let's go through the big issues, tell me where we are on them."

"Let me see how I can help, how can I facilitate as the new executive, getting resolutions to these matters, offering my skill set, my life experience to those city employees who are already working on these issues to see if we can bring them to some resolution," Tomlinson said.

Tomlinson adds it wasn't until the election she appreciated the significance of becoming the first woman to be Mayor of Columbus.

She'll be sworn in during an inauguration ceremony on January 3rd, 2011 on the plaza level of the Columbus Consolidated Government Center.

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