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Chattooga Local Government

Candidate Spotlight: Lanny Thomas – Trion Council Race

Lanny Thomas is seeking the office of Councilman of the Town of Trion.

Great Awakenings Coffee Company

Lanny Thomas is seeking the office of Councilman of the Town of Trion. Thomas is running for Trion Town Council Seat Number Four.

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What are some of the features/qualities that make Trion great and led you to call the city ‘home’?

I have called Trion home for 30 years. My wife, Chrysan, and I have had four boys graduate from Trion High School. One of my sons, Ramsey, continues to make Trion his home. He and his wife, Becca, have given me and Chrysan two granddaughters! We are now looking forward to a grandson in February. We have loved living in Trion because of the people, school system, pride and traditions that are evident throughout the town.

What do you believe are the biggest issues facing the Trion? How do you plan to address them?

The current financial structure and how the town’s savings account has been depleted is alarming. According to a recent article in the Summerville News, “The Town has $1.7 million in all of its accounts. It had been $4.1 million according to 2017 figures.” I plan to address this issue in the same fashion I did when I was Mayor of Trion. I wish to work with the current mayor and council to develop a better sense of cohesion and cooperation.
The Town of Trion, Mount Vernon Mills, and Trion City Schools must maintain a sense of partnership. All entities must work toward the betterment of our community. If all three work together, the citizens of Trion will profit much.

If elected, what three steps would you take to put Trion on a firmer financial footing?

Work closely with other council members and the mayor to develop a budget that would care for the citizens of Trion and stop wasteful and unneeded spending.
I would be watchful and diligent that the administration adheres to the approved budget. Unnecessary spending must come to an end.
Utilize existing resources to gain more businesses into the city limits.

If you received a $1 million grant to use for the town in any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?

The first step I would take would be to look at all the strings attached to the grant. I would look over all rules and stipulations. If the $1 million grant places a burden on the budget or the community, I would not accept it. If it is a feasible grant that has little to no stipulations that will benefit the town, I would accept the grant.
What would I like to spend the money for? I would first have to look at the Town of Trion 5 year plan. What in that plan is a priority? That is where I would like to spend the money.

a.) How do you plan to involve residents in the decision making process in Trion? b) How can the town be more transparent?

a. I am a very approachable person. I enjoy talking and listening to the residents of Trion. I would also like to see the town utilize social media better. This would be a fantastic was to access public comment.
b. The Georgia Open Records Act or Sunshine Law guarantees that the public has access to public records. This actually takes care of the transparency question. I will adhere to the act!

Do you plan to stay involved in Trion activities if you lose this race?

First of all, I don’t plan on losing this race. Second, if I do, I most certainly will remain involved in Trion activates. I will continue to work for Trion City Schools. I will continue to serve and attend Trion First Baptist Church.

Why do you feel like you’re the best candidate for the job?

I have proven in the past as a council member and as mayor of Trion, I can get things done. I would use my God given talents to work toward the betterment of Trion. Some of those talents are communication skills, vision, approachability, work ethic, and a love of serving.

Should local governments be able to exercise eminent domain powers for the purpose of private projects like redevelopment? Why or why not?

Yes, if a decision is made to use and exercise eminent domain powers to the betterment of the community. I also believe if that occurs, the property owner must be justly compensated by the government as the 5th amendment allow.

What do you plan to do to make Trion a better place to live?

Trion is already a great place to live. I will use all my skill sets to help make it an even better place. To be a little more specific, I would take a very conservative approach to the town’s finances. I would continue to work towards beautification of the town. I would research and find ways to attract younger families to our great town.

I believe any notices required by state law should be publicly posted and made available on the city/county websites in the most accessible way possible.
___x___Agree _______Disagree

Cities, counties, and school boards should post their financial statements, budgets, credit card statements, and check registers online for public review.
___x___Agree _______Disagree

All local political subdivisions calling a bond election should disclose in the proposition language on the ballot, the total cost of the bond (including principal and projected interest) and any impact on local taxes as a result of the bond.
___x___Agree _______Disagree
It would be extremely difficult to give the exact numbers for the total amount of the bond because of the ever-changing percentage rates and “ratings” that the municipality may receive because of their credit score.

Local governments should not use tax dollars to pay fees or dues to third party organizations and/or lobbying groups.
___x___Agree _______Disagree

 

Please feel free to include any additional biographical information below. (Family information, history in Trion, employment, etc)

 

Any social media accounts/contact information you’d like the public to have if voters would like to reach out to you:

Villeda Concrete
Miniyar
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