This has been a busy week leading up to our ceremonial groundbreaking for the U.S. 78 safety project on Friday. It's a $31.5 million road construction project I've been championing over the past few years in my role at the Evermore CID.
I began the day at the Georgia Chamber of Commerce in Atlanta in a meeting discussing the future of transportation and transportation funding with the Get Georgia Moving Coalition. The coalition is comprised of representatives of a diverse group - Chambers, Transportation Agencies, Private Interests, and Conservancy Groups. We all agree there is a need to create a new, coherent, and consistent transportation funding policy in Georgia. I really enjoy discussing important policy with bright people - a great way to start the day.
Lunch was even better at the OK Cafe where I enjoyed conversation with one of Gwinnett's greatest proponents and met the man I hope is the next President of the United States Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Prior to the Mayor's arrival, I spoke with a reporter from the London's Sunday Times who asked if a New Yorker would earn support in the deep South. That question was answered with a resounding YES as the Mayor worked the restaurant for nearly an hour. He was at ease shaking hands, kissing babies, and soliciting numerous shouts of support from the patrons.
Next stop on the way back to Gwinnett was a quick visit to my parents place of business. Mom operates a card shop and Dad a pharmacy - both under the same roof. When they told me they were going to merge their businesses under the same roof several years ago I asked, "Why would you want to ruin a 40 year marriage?" I was wrong, business is booming and they are happy as ever.
Back at the office, preparations for tomorrow's groundbreaking are going well. Events like this always seem to proceed better without my involvement. I'm not much of a party planner. I was able to respond to a request by the Georgia DOT and speak with representatives in Senator Chambliss, Senator Isakson, and Congressman Linder's offices confirming all will be represented at the U.S. 78 event.
Prior to heading home to my family, I spent a few minutes at an event for another of my favorite people - State Representative Melvin Everson. Melvin and I served on Snellville City Council a few years ago and he has gone on to represent a broader constituency equally well at the State House. Melvin is one of those individuals that give you confidence that our representatives and government can still get it right when we elect good people.
Also in attendance at Melvin's event was Snellville Mayor Jerry Oberholtzer. I enjoyed catching up with Jerry and learning of the many positive initiatives underway and planned for Snellville. Jerry's done an outstanding job as Mayor. In the area of Public Safety in particular, Jerry has truly expanded services. The Snellville Police have increased the number of officers to 50 and now have a bike patrol, motorcycles, commercial vehicles enforcement, expanded citizen police academy, youth explorer post, and more. Jerry's made public safety his priority and Snellville is the beneficiary.