Hoschton’s departing mayor had two pieces of advice for citizens and city officials on Monday: “Love Thy Neighbor” and keep a tight rein on the city’s finances.
In her final regular council meeting, Erma Denney thanked those who supported her during her nearly three-year term as Hoschton’s first female mayor. She is resigning from the post at the end of October because of a job conflict.
When she was sworn in as mayor, Denney was charged with managing a city that could barely afford to pay its bills. Its city clerk had resigned and council members soon learned of “deplorable conditions” at its sewer treatment plant.
To keep the city financially afloat, the council closed its police and planning and development departments in early 2010. Those drastic cuts, among others, slowly allowed Hoschton to regain its financial footing.
But, Denney warned that a fiscally-conservative mindset must remain for the city.
“I do believe that the citizens will firmly hold their government’s feet to the fire fiscally,” she said. “That was one of the most important things coming into office. My goal for me is to work on our fiscal issues.”
Denney also said she wanted to repair Hoschton’s relationships with its area governments — namely its neighboring town, Braselton.
“I hope that all of you will keep the Town of Braselton and Jackson County in your hearts,” Denney said. “And as they say, ‘Love Thy Neighbor.’ That’s very important. We must be strong together. So as important as our fiscal health is, I want to remind you all that we are good neighbors to the Town of Braselton. They’ve done so much for us. And please don’t ever forget what they’ve done for our community.”
Council member Theresa Kenerly, who serves as mayor pro tem, will become Hoschton’s interim mayor when Denney resigns. A special election to name a new mayor will be held in March.
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