Photo by Jeylin White
Jeff Turner, chairman for the Clayton County Board of Commissioners, receives a proclamation from Riverdale Mayor Evelyn Wynn-Dixon.
RIVERDALE — Mayor Evelyn Wynn-Dixon wanted to extend an olive branch to the Clayton County Board of Commissioners during a County Municipal Associations meeting held at Riverdale City Hall Thursday night.
For the first time, Dixon, along with mayors from each municipality, connected with newly elected chairman Jeff Turner and commissioners Shana Rooks (District 3) and Michael Edmondson (District 4).
The foyer at City Hall was turned into a mini banquet hall for the evening and Clayton County dignitaries enjoyed soft jazz music, food and beverages catered by Special Moments By Gwen.
The objective for the occasion was for all the mayors of the county to formally welcome Turner and Rooks into their new positions and open the lines of communication between the county and cities.
“I believe in Jeff Turner and what he plans to do for this county as a whole. It’s time for all of us to come together and do what’s best for the citizens of Clayton County,” Dixon said.
Many shared Dixon’s sentiment.
“Turner is one hell of guy!” Lovejoy Mayor Bobby Cartwright said. “He has the experience and history in Clayton County to get the job done. I trust him.”
“I believe that he will be fair and will do what is in the best interest of people,” said Riverdale council member Cynthia Stamp-Jones. “I believe we will finally get something done.”
Turner said getting the county back on track is his top priority. The former Clayton County police chief said his plans are to bring in new business, restore public transportation and re-brand the county.
“It was a bad move when they got rid of transportation in the first place,” Turner said.
Former chairman Eldrin Bell and commissioners voted 4-1 to end C-Tran in March 2010. The commissioners who voted to terminate the bus service cited lack of funding in the county’s budget. Turner said he is going to negotiate with MARTA and take a closer look at the budget.
“I want to do what’s best for the county and the citizens,” Turner said. “They are my priority.”
Turner’s colleagues also have a great deal of faith in his ability.
“I could not be more thrilled! I can hardly sleep at night I’m so excited,” Edmondson said. “I believe we will have a cohesive board now. Turner has a progressive mind and he’s dedicated to moving this county forward to where it should be.”
“So far, I believe in what I see,” Rooks said. “Turner has a lot of history in the county and the people respect him.”
“It’s time for us to start acting like adults and push all the citizens of Clayton County forward,” Turner said after receiving his letter of proclamation from Dixon. He continued, “Let’s change the mind set of how people view us in this county and show them how we can cooperate with one another.”