BNJ: Please provide a brief background/biography of yourself.
Morris: I am a lifelong citizen of Winder and have been serving as a city councilman since 1986. After ending my professional baseball career, I worked for corporations as a purchasing and material manager until my retirement. For over 60 years I have been married to Janet, who is my motivator and biggest supporter, and we have been blessed with our two children, Bart Morris and Lisa Carter, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. I have served Winder for over 30 years, and I am proud of the progress we have made and will continue to make.
BNJ: Why did you decide to run for re-election and what in your background makes you the most qualified candidate for this seat?
Morris: I decided to run for re-election because I love Winder and I care about each of our citizens and the future of our city. There are many great projects we have been working on that will be coming in the next few years which I would like to see completed. With over 30 years’ experience in office, I know what it takes to find solutions and get things done. I have served as mayor pro-tem and on the public safety, financial, utilities, and planning and development committees. I have proudly served this great city for over 30 years and hope to continue!
BNJ: What should the city’s approach to the continuing growth in population be? How can the city best position itself to handle the inevitable continued growth?
Morris: I think Winder’s approach to our continuing growth needs to be proactive. We need to continue to improve the streets, sidewalks, parking and infrastructure. We have made positive steps to position ourselves for the continuing growth in several ways: the Downtown Master Plan was developed; we updated the comprehensive zoning and ordinance plan, and the Winder/Auburn quarry project are just a few examples.
BNJ: Aside from growth, what do you consider to be the top three issues the city is facing and will face in the coming years? If elected, how would you work to address those issues?
Morris: In my opinion, the top three issues Winder is facing in the coming years are:
1. Flooding at the underpass and Mayor’s Walk. Flooding in both areas have been discussed extensively and major stormwater projects are underway. The bidding process is near completion.
2. Condition of roads and traffic downtown. We increased the budget for road repairs and created a paving policy to improve the condition of our roads. Since the major roads going through our downtown are state highways, I will continue to work closely with GDOT for solutions as well as considering alternate ways to route traffic in the downtown area.
3. Maintaining our need for public safety personnel: police, fire and first responders. To recruit and retain public safety personnel, we created a new pay structure which increased the pay and benefits for all our police department and fire department employees.
If elected, I will continue to work tirelessly with the mayor, my fellow city council members and employees of the City of Winder to help make Winder a better place to raise a family, to work and to worship. I ask for your vote on Nov. 2.