♦ Commitment♦ ♦Leadership♦ ♦Results♦
Mayor Donna Whitener
I am asking for your support as I seek a third term as Mayor of the City of Blue Ridge. I am a lifelong resident of Fannin County and the proud mother of three children: Brandon, Eric, and Kristan. I am ‘Grammy’ to two beautiful granddaughters, Lily and Claire. I am the owner of Town & Country Furniture where I employee 25 people. My parents started the store in 1961, and I proudly carry on their legacy today.
I am committed to the City of Blue Ridge. I have an open door policy, an ear ready to listen, and my hope is that you find me approachable and reachable.
Throughout my eight years of service, I have learned that developing positive relationships with city, county and state leadership is critical to community growth. I have also learned that businesses need confidence not uncertainty in order to succeed. You deserve a stable, supportive local government, and I want to provide that stability.
In 2010, I inherited a city impacted by an economic downtown. It took over a year and a half for the city to recover financially. We lost jobs and construction projects, but the tourism industry grew steadily year to year. Today, we have a vibrant downtown, which has resulted in increased tourism, a growing economy, and job creation. There is no better place than our quaint mountain town to enjoy Mother Nature and to shop, dine, explore, relax, and live. I am proud that approximately 4,500 people are employed in our city. I am grateful to the business owners who have invested their time and money in Blue Ridge.
During my term, taxpayers received a reduction in the millage rate four times. We received over $7 million dollars in grant money allowing us to make improvements that would have otherwise been impossible. We received two Community Development Block Grants used for street, water, and sewer improvements in residential areas. We also accomplished three Streetscape Projects and will be starting our fourth one. Roads have been paved, water and sewer lines replaced, two new water storage tanks built, and we’ve had a complete overhaul of our water plant.
Moving forward, I support the development of a master plan that manages city resources while anticipating future growth. Other priorities include updating the city’s infrastructure and the development of a comprehensive parking plan.
In addition to my responsibilities as mayor, I believe it is important for me to give back in service to other organizations. I am a member of the Governing Board of Highland Rivers Health and serve on the Board of Directors of the Appalachian Children’s Center. I am in my second year of service on the Legislative Policy Council of the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA). I served for three terms on GMA’s District Board, including service as District Board President. I also serve on the Board of the Fannin County Health Department. I am a proud supporter of Special Olympics, Feed Fannin, Snack in a Backpack, and many more organizations that serve our community.
Without proper management, a city can find itself upside down quickly. This is why I want to continue working for you. Re-elect Donna Whitener, Mayor of the City of Blue Ridge.