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Mayor's monthly minutes for August 2018: "Douglas is our home, and I want to make this home shine brighter than other cities in our area"

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Mayor's monthly minutes for August 2018: "Douglas is our home, and I want to make this home shine brighter than other cities in our area" DouglasNow.com file photo

Hello, citizens of Douglas! It is my hope that each month, my minutes share information with citizens and helps citizens understand the role I play as Mayor and the role others play as elected officials. It is up to us to initiate programs and implement solutions to make Douglas a place that people want to work, live, and play. Douglas is our home, and I want to make this home shine brighter than other cities in our area.

Are you ready for some football? Last year was incredible! Our mighty Coffee High Trojans were outstanding. The fan support was unbelievable! As Mayor of the City of Douglas, I witnessed a culture celebrating a football season that was indescribable. Everyone was just a little bit nicer and understanding. I love being the Mayor of a Football City. Our football season served as a launching pad for all other sports. The winning Trojan fever has been evident in other sports. I was so moved by our mighty Coffee High Trojans that I joined the Touchdown Club. I was amazed at the amount of time, energy, and money it takes to support a winning program. I realize the sacrifice of players, coaches, and fans. Our players put in long hours in the weight room and on the practice field. The fans took off work early to travel to North Georgia - some even called in sick to work (but I am not telling). Many other communities pay their coaches for each round of the playoffs, however, our coaches prepared to play six additional games with no additional pay. Everyone has made sacrifices to turn the City of Douglas and Coffee County into a football city. The Touchdown Club needs our help to support our mighty Trojans. For example, it cost about $3,000.00 to ensure the football team ate a meal and Coach Pruitt was on a diet. I am asking all businesses to join the Touchdown Club and give the tickets to your employees with the best Trojan attire on Friday. Additionally, I am asking all citizens to join the Touchdown Club or make a donation. Yes, Earl Mayo is dedicated to the Touchdown Club and will call you, a million times, until he gets the membership. So, call Earl Mayo at (912) 384-2413 and Mike Grantham at (912)393-3577. Join the Touchdown Club! The meeting last about an hour - only because we keep talking about football. The business portion of the meeting is only about 7 minutes. Go Trojans Go!

Now, it’s time to discuss a few City initiatives. One initiative that is a great addition for our customers is the utility monitoring software program, UtilityHawk. UtilityHawk is the customer-friendly portal for Douglas utility customers to track their utility usage in their homes and businesses. When Douglas utility customers log on to the customer portal at https://dougga.utilityhawk.us, they will be able to create a free account and receive real-time information on their utilities. This program can improve our customer relations and engagement by giving our customers the tools to view their consumption data, see estimations for their monthly bill and it will also send a text or email alerts when there is a problem like a possible water leak. Now, how do you sign up for this program? It’s easy - first-time users can go to the website and click on the right-hand side, “REGISTER” and follow the steps. We have over 200 customers registered – I want to see that number reach the thousands. Everyone should want to take advantage of this utility saving program.

Customers should have already received postcards from Douglas Utilities in the mail with information about UtilityHawk. In the very near future, Douglas Utilities will have an instructional step-by-step YouTube video that will help customers learn how to use the customer portal. For more information about UtilityHawk or assistance with the registration process, please contact the Customer Care Center by dialing 3-1-1 or 912-384-3302.

I would like utility customers to embrace this program that is offered by Douglas Utilities. The program is easy to use, and will ultimately help Citizens to become energy efficient. In the next few months, we will have a Douglas Utilities pre-pay portal called “MyUsage” that we will be rolling out that will allow customers to “pay as you go”. Right now, the Exceleron “MyUsage” program is in the test phase, so look for me to share more information as we get ready to implement the program.

We are in the process of forming a Landlord Association so that correct information can be relayed to landlords as well as renters. Commissioner McNeill and I will be holding a meeting with landlords soon and we will be discussing several issues, address these issues, and prepare plans on how we can work together to find solutions that will help them as well as their tenants. I want this association to educate our landlords and their tenants. My goal is to provide information about our services like energy audits, ordinances, electric rates, public safety, and much more. This information will help current citizens and future citizens.

On August 11, 2018, at 2 pm, I want to invite everyone to a friendly bowling tournament. The Mayor’s Men’s Ministry, together with Rockin’ Roll Bowlin’, are trying to form a Christian based bowling league for all churches to come together and have some competitive fun. I will be there, as well as, the church members of Greater Destiny International and the Empowerment Center. Greater Destiny vs. The Empowerment Center – this is going to be an outstanding match-up! Let’s make this a community event and an afternoon of fellowship.

In closing, I want you to know that each month when I chose topics to discuss, I try to think of F.U.N. initiatives that Douglas is offering our citizens. Now, you may ask what F.U.N. has to do with city initiatives. My F.U.N. is an acronym for “Future Understanding is Necessary”. Future understanding is necessary can be applied to various areas in our day to day life. Future Understanding is necessary for me to serve you and to help move our city forward into the future. We have to understand what the future could possibly hold and we have to have futuristic thinking in understanding our community’s needs and concerns.

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