Merry Christmas citizens of Douglas! I absolutely love this time of the year! I am a family oriented man and I love spending time with family and friends during the holidays. I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving and you are busy making preparations to have a Merry Christmas.
We have a community toy drive taking place to help families and children in need this Christmas. This is the season for giving, so please do all that you can to make the toy drive a success. We have over 500 children who are counting on us to help them have a small gift for Christmas. It breaks my heart to know that there are kids in our community who may not have a gift under the tree from Santa. Let’s do our part to ensure that every child in our community has a Merry Christmas.
The Mayor’s Christmas Motorcade is state wide initiative that began in 1959 and gives to mentally challenged adults in hospitals throughout Georgia. It’s hard to imagine that a family would put a loved one in a hospitals and not return to visit or send gifts to them for Christmas. Let’s help these adults have a Merry Christmas. To give to the Mayor’s Christmas Motorcade, just contact our city manager’s office at 912-389-3401.
I am really excited about the Christmas parade this year. The parade theme is Celebrate the Music and Melodies of Christmas, so who better to represent the community than our very own, Coffee High School Marching Band? These youth that have worked extra hard to earn awards for their musical abilities. Our city is very proud of how the Coffee High School Marching Band has represented this community, as the band won first place in Class 2A Band Category at the Sound of Silver Band Competition with an outstanding score of 92.
As a result of hard work and dedication, the band received Superior ratings in all categories including Drum Major, Auxiliary, Percussion, and Overall Band; the Drum Major captured 3rd Place Best In Class; Auxiliary captured 2nd place Best in Class; and Percussion placed 2nd Bestin Class. We thank Mr. Myers for leading these talented young people and the band deserves to be celebrated for their musical excellence. The band members are truly an asset in our community and our entire City Commission salutes the band for making our community come alive each year with their musical achievements.
Last month, I began a conversation about our community parks. A park assessment has been completed and we need a lot of upgrades. I’m talking about $3.1 million worth of upgrades. We need safer play equipment, building and bathroom upgrades, and other repairs in our parks. It’s hard to raise the money for upgrades all at once, so what can we do right now? We can give our time to the parks and start the upgrade process in our neighborhoods by working together to get these parks up to standard. Our kids need to have quality areas to play. We need civic organizations, businesses, and individuals to “Adopt-A-Park.” I challenge civic organizations to take on the responsibility of the upkeep of one of our 12 parks in the city. Call today and find out how you can “Team Up to Clean Up” our parks! Call Stevie, Willis, or Landy at the Recreation Department, 912-384-5978.
Just in time for Christmas – Douglas Utilities is rolling out the new pre-pay or pay as you go, My Usage program. Over the past few years, I have had utility customers request we begin a “pay as you use” utility program – well, here it is! “My Usage” pre-pay customers will receive advantages not given to regular utility customers. No deposit is required – the initial startup fee goes toward future use of the monthly utility bill. There are no disconnect or reconnect fees. If utilities to the account are disconnected, the customer will only have to pay $50 plus the current amount due to reconnect the services on the account. There will be no service fees and no late fees. Customers can track their daily balance and pay as they go. There will not be a large bill due at any time so the customer shouldn’t experience any unexpected surprises. To sign up to begin the program, customers should visit the Customer Care Center located at City Hall, 224 East Bryan Street. For more information, please call (912)384-3302 or dial 3-1-1.
Our Mayor’s Youth Council is looking for new members for 2019. If you know of a youth that exhibits leadership skills, let us know! We want them to be involved in the Mayor’s Youth Council. I want to help shape our future leaders and this is a great starting point. November’s Youth Council recognized Miss Alexis Davis. Alexis is the daughter of Charles and Debbie Davis. Alexis is the daughter of Charles and Debbie Davis. She is a potential honor graduate student at Coffee High School as well as a dual enrollment student at South Georgia State College with a 4.0 average. She serves as an attorney in the Teen Court program. Additionally, Alexis is the vice chair on First National Bank’s junior board of directors. At school, she is part of the Chemistry Club, National Honor Society, and thespians society. Alexis will be graduating from high school with half an associate degree completed and plans to continue her education at UGA.
The first session of the Douglas-Coffee County Teen Court was a success on Saturday, December 1, 2018 at the sheriff’s department. This new program is going to be a great asset for our young people that need guidance to stay on the right path. Program coordinators still need youth jurors, so if you know of a 6-12th grader that would benefit from this program, contact Ms. Williams today at 912-331-9398.
I enjoy the holidays with my family and I hope that each of you spend time with your family and also see the need to spend time with your community. We should all be thankful for our family, health, and God each day. We can all help Douglas shine brighter when we give time to our family and community this Christmas season.