Letter to the Editor

Published 10:16 am Thursday, September 16, 2021

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To the Editor:

When I learned that Lee Kinnamon had agreed to be a candidate for Mayor of Americus, I became hopeful for our community’s future. Though I am a resident of Schley County, and cannot vote in your elections, I am one of many from surrounding communities who look to Americus as the center of our activities. It is where we go to church, where we shop, go to exercise, meet friends for lunch—it is our civic center. So it matters to us what kind of person you pick to lead this Southwest Georgia city.

Thirty years ago I was editor of Macon Magazine in that city, and in one of our first issues I wrote an article about what makes a good city—a civilized city. I had borrowed the idea from another magazine, but the list could work in any city, in any generation. It is simple, and if we could achieve it here, we would indeed be a civilized city:

  1. Libraries –thousands of volumes, easily accessible, and people who can and will read them.-
  2. A viable public school system—a superior educational system that makes a quality education possible for all its citizens.
  3. The arts – Opportunities in theater, music dance and visual arts, for active participants as well as for observers and appreciators.
  4. An open business community – one which accepts and values the input of women and minorities as they all work together for a stronger local/regional economy.
  5. Recreation facilities and programs for all ages –with enough public monies for proper upkeep of buildings ad adequate leadership of program.
  6. An adequate and fair tax base – to provide for city services, with respectable wages for all municipal employees.
  7. The guarantee of public safety—trusted and admired police and fire officers, who are supported by the community.
  8. A newspaper –that serves the public interest.
  9. An appreciation of the city’s past, the good and the bad – evidenced by historic preservation efforts and an honest appraisal of who we were – and are.
  10. An acceptance of differences – a willingness to allow others to exercise their freedoms without prejudice, persecution or ostracism.

I recalled this list all these years later, realizing that some things do not change. Cities still need a citizenry invested in its future, for the advantaged and the disadvantaged. Cities need leaders who have a broad, inclusive vision of what can be accomplished when we all work together. Through thirty years of devoted service to public education in Sumter County, as well as service on numerous boards, commissions and authorities, Lee Kinnamon has demonstrated his commitment to his home town. Few are as qualified; none are more committed. I hope the voters of Americus will go the polls on November 2,  remembering that Lee Kinnamon is  betting his life on his hometown.

-Joni Woolf