20 February 2018
Just like many families are checking off annual financial tasks, it’s also a key time financially for local government. The City of Milton is halfway through its fiscal year, and it’s at this point that we begin the early steps of budget planning. This fiscal year has been a little more challenging for schools and cities alike because of the delayed property tax assessments from Fulton County. Despite those difficulties, I’m proud of how our City staff responded to keep citizens informed, and the proactive approach our finance department has taken in helping us shift how we report tax revenues going forward.
As you may know, the City completed its first greenspace purchase in January, acquiring the Milton Country Club, with 139 acres of greenspace located in the heart of Milton. While the future of the property hasn’t been decided, we hope our residents will take part in the ongoing community planning conversations to help determine long-term needs and priorities for this new community asset. This was just the first purchase of what I am confident will be a continued successful execution of the Milton Greenspace Bond Referendum — success that can be largely attributed to the efforts of Milton’s citizen-appointed Greenspace Advisory Committee.
Looking back over the last several months, it’s amazing to see what we’ve accomplished from a community planning standpoint, and it’s equally exciting to see all the things on the horizon — the update to the Milton Parks & Recreation Master Plan, a new master plan for Providence Park, an updated Milton Trail Plan, and now — a brand new planning effort underway with the Milton Country Club. There’s no doubt that it’s going to be an exciting time in Milton over the next few years, as all of these efforts begin to take shape, and it’s incredible to see the positive impact being made on the overall quality of life in Milton.
A citizen recently commented about her experience as a Milton resident, “I feel like I am part of a village, not a large, high-end suburb of Atlanta.” I don’t believe I’ve felt more proud as Milton’s mayor than I was at that moment. From day one of Milton’s incorporation, the goal was to achieve greater local control through an increased sense of community by focusing on the things that were most important to our residents. With each new community planning effort, I’m more convinced than ever that we’re staying true to our reasons for incorporation and remembering what makes Milton so special — it’s residents.