Joe Thomas has lived in Lula with his wife Patti for 32 years. Patti qualified to run for the second seat on the city council, but told the Times on Wednesday, September 29, that she was stepping down from the race in order to fully support her husband’s candidacy for mayor.
Above all, Joe Thomas emphasized the need for more transparency and communication on the part of the city.
“I started walking when I realized that the city council and the mayor here are not informing people the way they should,” said Thomas.
He said the city needs to make better use of its website and try different ways to keep people informed, such as a regular email newsletter.
Thomas currently works as a rural freight forwarder for the US Post Office. He and his wife previously ran a florist in Lula and a commercial printer in Oakwood and Doraville for 28 years.
Thomas wants the city to have its own police department, he said, although it’s unclear whether the city will be able to afford it anytime soon. Thomas said he didn’t want to raise any new property taxes for it. Due to their location on the border of the Hall and Banks counties, certain parts of the city can find it difficult to obtain rapid emergency or police services, especially when the Cobb Street Railroad Bridge is out of order. Thomas said he would like the city to add another route via the railroad tracks that run through downtown.
“I think I figured it out, but the funding is going to be unreal,” he said.
He also said he wanted a term limit for members of the city council and limited them to just two terms to get new ideas. To control growth, Thomas suggested limiting the batch sizes of new developments to half an acre.