Kingston voters will choose the Post 4 representative Nov. 5.
Name: Michael C. Abernathy
Occupation: Retired after 38 Years with the Georgia Power Company. Now, pastoring Creekside Fellowship Church in Cartersville.
Family: My wife of 42 years is Shirley; son, Clay and his wife Natilie, son Carlos; one daughter, Christy McDonald and husband, James McDonald. We have seven grandchildren.
Education: I have an Associate in Science with a major in Business, Bachelor’s in Theology, Master’s in Education. I completed the Georgia Tech Certification program for OSHA General Industry & Construction Safety Standard Instructors.
Age: 60 years old
Why did you decide to run for this particular race?
A: Why I am running? I was raised in Kingston, many of my family members still live here, I love the people, I enjoy living here, and want to make myself available to serve the people of Kingston. If there are problems, I want to help resolve them. Kingston is a small town, where the residents can still walk the streets and stop and talk to neighbors. They feel safe and secure. The children can ride their bikes to church and play on the streets. The people still care about each other and help one another. The kids can still walk to the creek and fish. I want that atmosphere to continue for my grandchildren. To maintain that we must all get involved.
If elected, what do you want to accomplish?
A: Work with the mayor and other city [council] members to develop a five-year business plan and annual financial budget to be put in place immediately. Next, a vision statement for the city. Determining what we want the city of Kingston to look like in the future. I am a Christian above all things. I want Kingston to always remain a great place to live and raise your children in a Christian environment. Work and communicate with other Bartow County governmental agencies to bring in their best practices to help us. We must work with the chamber of commerce, economic development, Bartow planning groups to ensure that we benefit from the [county’s] future growth.
What is the most pressing issue facing Kingston?
A: One — lower tax revenues with rising city operating costs. This requires a greater need for financial accountability. Second — drug dealers and the crime they bring into a community. Third — economic development, we need to help promote long-term business in and around Kingston.
Once in office, what will be your top priority?
A: Work with the mayor and council members to develop a quality of excellence and accountability in the leadership team that the citizens of Kingston can be proud to have representing them.
Why are you the best candidate for the position?
A: My business and leadership experience.
Editor’s note: Although he was presented with the same questions asked of other city council and mayoral candidates, Miklas submitted a letter to The Daily Tribune News. For the sake of completeness, and in an effort to inform Kingston voters, the letter is included below.
For too long Kingston has been losing generations of young people because there were no job opportunities for them in Kingston. This is why we need to change that for Kingston’s survival by rebuilding our infrastructure that will bring business ventures and jobs to Kingston.
That way the young people will work and stay in Kingston and call Kingston their “home town.”
To that end, Kingston has applied and was approved for a USDA grand and loan to upgrade our aging water system, which will provide a more reliable service to our customers. In addition, an installation of a sewer, which is essential to run a small or large venture will be next on our future agenda.
I am the best candidate for City Council Post 4 because I take pride in the city that I live, and my record supports it, as follows:
1. I represented Kingston on a committee to “Keep Bartow Beautiful” for one term.
2. I worked with Mr. Olson (our past attorney) on an ordinance that helps the city council to run the city more efficiently.
3. I planted nearly all the cedar trees along the Hardin Bridge Road, stretching from the bridge creek to Main Street to make the drive more pleasant for our citizens and visitors.
4. I planted the shrubbery with the cooperation of Larry and Harold Posey in front of the “Welcome to Historic Kingston” sign at the corner of Railroad Street and Howard Street, and have maintained it for the past several years.
So I don’t make empty promises just to get people’s votes, but my service to Kingston and its people speaks for itself, “Why I am the best candidate for city council.”