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Thornton nomination reflects sound leadership

LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton was installed as second vice president of the Georgia Municipal Association for the 2019-2020 year during the recent GMA Conference in Savannah. As second vice president, this puts Thornton in line to become president of the GMA in two years, for the 2021-22 year.

The GMA president has general supervision and is in charge of the affairs of the GMA, which sets out to anticipate and influence the forces shaping Georgia’s cities and to provide leadership, tools and services that assist municipal governments in becoming more innovative, effective and responsive. The association, created in 1933, currently serves all 538 Georgia cities, per the organization’s website, and has a full-time staff of 91 employees.

Suffice it to say, the GMA is broadly important to each and every city within the state of Georgia, and plays a key role in helping shape the future of local governments by shaping legislation to protect and encourage local growth at the city level across the state.

There have been two other LaGrange mayors to serve as President of GMA, but both did so prior to 1960, with Mayor R. S. O’Neal serving in that role in 1944 and Mayor Frank Tigner following suit in 1955. LaGrange has not had a local leader in the president’s chair of the GMA since. That will change in 2021.

When Thornton steps into the position of president in 2021, he will be responsible for helping to direct the group’s long-term vision. This is a big and important job, one that city leaders from across the state rely on. Thornton’s nomination to the position is representative of the respect he has curated across the state for his leadership of LaGrange.

While there are still years to come and go before Thornton takes on this role, we wanted to take a moment and pass on our congratulations for the nomination. Thornton, along with a thoughtful and careful city council, have consistently made forward-thinking, well-intentioned decisions on behalf of the city. Decisions are often not perfect, but the city’s progress in recent years in a host of categories shows the power of competent leadership. We’re pleased the rest of the state will soon get a taste of Thornton’s leadership.