Cartersville Mayor Matt Santini served as key-note speaker at the sold-out event, which organizers hope to continue every three months. In his State of the City presentation, Santini outlined many of the services and opportunities offered by the city of Cartersville.
“Local government is different from federal government and it’s different from state government,” Santini said. “If you think about the old adage, ‘The government is of the people, for the people, by the people.’ At the local level, government really is by the people.
“Everybody that works with the city of Cartersville government, just take a moment to stand for me if you would. These are the people that make this community a wonderful place. It is the dedication of them and the people they work with that bring a passion for community service and provide these services every single day.”
Santini gave an overview and update of various city services, including parks and recreation, recycling, the downtown development authority and the school system. He also spoke to outreach programs within the community, including Habitat for Humanity, Backpack Buddies and disaster relief efforts.
The State of the City reflected on elements of community within the city and county by relating people, places and events to the city’s new motto, “Be Charmed, Be Prosperous, Belong.” Bolstered by a slideshow of images, Be Charmed was represented by museums, the Main Street Gateway project, the Atco Cleanup, and new infrastructure, such as the Public Safety Headquarters, fire station No. 4 and the Dellinger pool renovation. Be Prosperous was illustrated with photos of groundbreaking ceremonies, new businesses, downtown development and education initiatives, while Belong was shown with images of the citizen’s academy, little league and the citizen’s survey.
Opening the ceremony of the first Quarterly Luncheon, Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce Chairman Wayne Moore noted the challenges currently facing the community due to economic conditions and reflected on earlier sentiments referring to the community as a family.
“We are so fortunate to have the city and county government that we have here,” Moore said. “Tax dollars are not as great as they once were and they’re having to make changes and adjust budgets for different things, but I think we’ve all seen that they’ve done a terrific job.
“At the annual meeting, during my speech, I mentioned that we’re a family. Whether you’ve been here all your life or moved here later on and decided this is the place for you, we’re all family and what makes us that is the successes we enjoy together. ... Families don’t always agree, but we always come together and make the decisions that we need to make that is in the best interest for our community and I commend you for that.”
Speaking to the sense of community that was emphasized on stage, Quarterly Luncheon guest Randy Shaw, of ShawHankins, was impressed with the community spirit invoked by event organizers. He pointed to past mayors, including Mike Fields, Sam Smith and many more, as examples of leadership that have made Cartersville what it is today.
“I’m not one of the newcomers. My family has been here since 1837. We started our business in 1973 and we’re just tickled to death to be a part of the downtown community,” Shaw said. “It’s been great leaders, mayors and councilmen that have supported Cartersville. ... It’s just got that downtown charm, all the restaurants, all the businesses and the people that come through.
“Cartersville’s not a community. Cartersville is home and it takes a lot of people to make this city work. We’ve got great city leaders, and you couldn’t ask for a better place to have a business or raise children. It’s just a great place to live.”
In August, organizers will host Bartow County Commissioner Steve Taylor for the next Quarterly Luncheon.
For more information, visit www.cartersvillechamber.com or call 770-382-1466.