The article, "The Milton Meltdown" (August 6, 2007) was hardly objective in its presentation of the City of Milton and would have been more fairly placed on the newspaper's editorial page.
Contrary to what the AJC asserts, the city council, staff members and I work together respectfully and are very proud of what we have accomplished. Just because we disagree on certain issues and butt heads on occasion doesn't mean we're dysfunctional; it means we are doing what we were elected to do - debate issues and consider all sides before acting, and we have done that in a civil manner.
Yes, I have been on the minority side of several votes and I'm sure that I will be again. However, I respect my colleagues and their opinions and support implementation of every properly enacted measure, whether I voted for it or not - and I can say without qualification that my fellow elected officials in Milton feel the same way.
I find it ironic that the AJC has published editorial opinions over the years assailing Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill for "marching in lockstep" when advancing certain legislation - yet when you have a local government body engaging in honest discourse and in anything but lockstep politics, apparently that's equally unacceptable.
With regard to the missed insurance premium tax deadline, we are working diligently - as a group - to solve this problem, and I am optimistic that we will receive the funds next year, as has been the plan from day one. This is not a shortfall in our current budget and will not affect services.
The AJC has conveniently ignored many accomplishments of the Milton government and failed to note that all of the initial goals set forth when official status as a city was accorded last December, have been met or exceeded.
We created a new city hall and staffed it with a team of skilled professionals. We adopted, enacted or improved upon most of the ordinances that keep our city running smoothly.
We have fully functioning public works, finance, community development and code enforcement departments and we have a new court system. Our public safety department includes new police and fire units staffed by officers and firemen that are doing a great job in keeping Milton safe and secure.
We are moving forward on several major intersection and road improvements that will relieve traffic congestion in the area and we are working to make our parks system better.
All of these accomplishments were achieved in a span of less than nine months. Sounds like anything but a "meltdown" to me.
- Mayor Joe Lockwood