By ALEC MARTIN
ACWORTH, Ga. — Mayor Thomas W. Allegood has maintained a balanced budget for 15 years, lowered taxes for the last 15 years, all the while increasing the economic development for the fastest growing region in Cobb County.
Allegood is venerated in Acworth for keeping a friendly and clean community and for achieving the All-American City in 2010, as designated by the National Civic League.
“This award is validation of what we already knew,” Allegood said. “The Acworth Community is indicative of the traits aligned with the All-America City designation. Our community collectively accepts this prestigious award and is honored to be chosen as an All-America City.”
“We view Tommy as a home run. He’s done a lot for his city and county,” said Gary Bottoms, who is the immediate past chair of the foundation’s board of directors.
Allegood and his wife Carol moved to Acworth from Florida in 1998, after their four kids moved out. They purchased an old historic home in downtown Acworth. At that time Acworth was a small community. Main Street had Piggly Wiggly and the Two Dollar Café. With a population of about 6,000 people, there was not much going on.
“If our house was ever going to be worth anything then we sure need to work on making Acworth more of a destination,” Allegood said. “Everyone wants to find that special place where they can call home and grow a family.”
Before Allegood became mayor he worked as a Builder & Developer, gaining knowledge which would later carry to his success as mayor. With this key understanding of property value and craftsmanship, Allegood began to see the significance of the town; the historic values and assets that it had.
“In order for economic development, you have to have the right population,” Allegood said. “People want to live here for specific reasons. What makes us so different? If you asked a citizen, if you asked a business owner, they’ll tell you it’s our quality of life.”
The population has jumped 400 percent from 6,000 to 23,000 people, allowing for the city officials to focus on building a better quality of life, according to Allegood. Part of that process was balancing the budget to shift the tax break down from 90 percent residential to 60 percent.
In the last 15 years, Acworth has focused on improving education, recreation, community diversity, city services, church leadership, business and community safety, Allegood said.
While the third term serving as mayor comes to an end, Acworth continues to improve. More and more development continues to grow. With a hard-working mayor and a great community, the quality of life is sure to rise. As the fourth election peeks around the corner with no opposition in sight, Acworth’s incumbent mayor doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.