Locals enjoy ‘Ga. Cities Week’ in Americus

Published 12:39 pm Saturday, April 27, 2019

From Staff Reports

AMERICUS — “Georgia Cities Week” gave cities across Georgia an opportunity to share information about the valuable services that they provide and how cities positively impact quality of life. This marks the 20th year that “Georgia Cities Week” has been celebrated in the state under the leadership of the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA).
Americus’ celebration was planned and led by City Clerk Paula Martin which included readings by City Council member Lou Chase at the Georgia Southwestern State University Early Childhood Development Center. Chase said she was thrilled to read to the students and as a retired educator shares, “We should never turn down the opportunity to read, especially to children.”
“Georgia Cities Week” allows cities to expand their level of citizen engagement and show how critical it is to have city services run smoothly. Local governments are of particular interest because all generations get to know the leaders on a more personal basis. In fact, Americus sponsored a Customer Service Appreciation Day on Wednesday mid-day with hotdogs, chips, and drinks served. Almost 300 people came out with city department heads providing food service.

McArthur Jackson, of the city street department, with Jacavion Lester, 8, Angel Lester, 7, and Precious Lester, 6.

The highlight of the week was the “Touch the City Equipment” event with ice cream held at Joyce Myers Park on Thursday afternoon where all types of city equipment and vehicles converged inside and around the park allowing guests to tour and experience. As an example, youngsters saw what it is like to climb into the fire truck or even turn-on the sirens and lights of a police vehicle. Children were invited to explore and climb on a variety of trucks and heavy machinery, including emergency response vehicles, tow trucks, excavators, and the fire smoke house (over 30 vehicles were available for their edification and play). Guests young and old alike enjoyed informal conversations with city leaders and fostered new relationships of appreciation for the sacrifices that city employees make to help ensure our community can be as safe as possible. Event coordinator Martin summed it up in saying, “It gives our citizens a chance to see our equipment, ask questions about how the equipment works, and gives us a chance to have an educational opportunity with our them. We love to see how children’s faces light up when given the opportunity to explore these trucks and machines.”

Hunter Collier, 6, in rear, and Tripp Duncan, 4, in front, enjoyed checking out the big equipment.

In addition to the big equipment, Americus Fire & Emergency Services also offered visitors a chance to see fire trucks up close and the kids really enjoyed the educational experience of the Fire House which teaches safety.
Throughout the week, the activities created a spirit of community. “We’re very proud of our city employees and how they make our community attractive to residents, business owners, and visitors,” said Mayor Barry Blount. “Cities provide an environment for people to move, encounter, communicate, and explore