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Friday, June 29, 2007

Take Advantage Of Increased Opportunities To Get Involved

by Mayor Joe Lockwood

A vibrant city is built on active citizen participation. Milton is blessed to have numerous residents who have already stepped up to get involved through opportunities such as the Milton Volunteer Pacers (MVPs), which has worked on arts and history projects as well as driving the ‘Furnish the Firehouse’ campaign to provide much-need furnishings and equipment for our new fire service.

Well now you have two more ways to get involved with making Milton a better place for us all to live – the Adopt-A-Road and Citizen Deputy programs.

Most people are probably familiar with the Adopt-A-Road concept, in which civic-minded organizations, businesses and even individuals “adopt” a stretch of roadway – a minimum of one mile – and hold regular cleanups to reduce litter. Milton, working in conjunction with Keep North Fulton Beautiful, has launched its own version of the Adopt-A-Road concept.

Adopting organizations must make a minimum two-year commitment to the program, participate in safety training/orientation, and perform at least four cleanups a year (although additional cleanups as needed are encouraged). The city provides basic supplies such as vests, gloves, trash bags and “grabbers” to pick up the litter.

Organizations interested in participating should contact Linda Blow, project coordinator, at linda.blow@cityofmiltonga.us or call her at 678.242.2489. You can also print and fill out the required Adopt-A-Road forms from the city’s Web site (click on “Forms & Permits” link) and fax them to 678.242.2499.

The Citizen Deputy program is an initiative of our Community Development department, and it too is found in many other communities. Participants assist our code enforcement officers with removal of illegal signage within the right-of-way as well as reporting zoning and other code violations. The deputies also help educate their fellow residents about city codes and zoning. The end result is cleaner, safer neighborhoods and improved property values. If you are interested in this program, call 678.242.2500 or send an e-mail to mailto:info@cityofmiltonga.us?subject=Citizen%20Deputy and put “Citizen Deputy” in the subject line.
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I am extremely proud to note that, after just seven months of incorporation, Milton has earned the Certified City of Ethics designation from the Georgia Municipal Association. The voluntary program, developed by a panel of business and government leaders, encourages cities to adopt and adhere to a set of key ethical principles and a comprehensive model ethics ordinance. Milton was one of 14 cities – and the newest in the state – to receive the designation at GMA’s annual conference in Savannah. Mayor Pro Tem Karen Thurman accepted the award on the city’s behalf.
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Thanks to the efforts of Council Member Bill Lusk, the U.S. flag now flies proudly over Milton City Hall in the Deerfield Professional Centre. Mr. Lusk, a Navy Seabee and Vietnam veteran, personally purchased the flagpole and provided the labor to have it installed. On Flag Day June 14, several other Council members and I joined Mr. Lusk, city staff, and representatives of several veterans groups as a U.S. Army Honor Guard hoisted the Stars and Stripes up the pole for the first time. It was a stirring ceremony and we now have a daily reminder that freedom truly is not free.
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It was a year ago in July that voters in Milton overwhelming approved incorporation, followed by the election in November and then the official incorporation on Dec. 1. We are in the planning process for a “birthday party” for Milton to be held early in the fall. Look for more details to come.

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