Burgess won’t seek re-elec­tion

The Covington News - - Local News - Gabriel Khouli gkhouli@cov­news.com

Af­ter 14 years in of­fice, So­cial Cir­cle Mayor Jim Burgess will not seek re­elec­tion.

“It’s time to let new lead­er­ship de­velop in the com­mu­nity,” Burgess said Tues­day. “It’s been a great ex­pe­ri­ence. I’m most grate­ful for the uni­fied city coun­cil. I don’t think I’ve ever had to cast a tie break­ing vote.”

Burgess, 78, also thanked his wife, Made­line, for her ad­vice and sup­port.

He said he was most proud of the strong fi­nan­cial po­si­tion of the city, the progress that has been made on the by­pass road, the woo­ing of Solo Cup and Gen­eral Mills and the ad­di­tion of a new city hall and var­i­ous parks.

“The big chal­lenge for any new ad­min­is­tra­tion will be the re­vi­tal­iza­tion of the down­town. We’ve done ex­tremely well on the in­dus­trial side with Gen­eral Mills and Solo Cup,” he said.

Burgess said he will not ac­tively par­tic­i­pate in gov­ern­ment un­less sought out for ad­vice, but he will con­tinue to re­side in So­cial Cir­cle and plans to re­open his law of­fice. He will also con­tinue to lobby at the state for the Mu­nic­i­pal Elec­tric Au­thor­ity of Ge­or­gia and the city of Sa­van­nah and per­form me­di­a­tion for cities.

He worked with the Ge­or­gia Mu­nic­i­pal As­so­ci­a­tion, an ad­vo­cacy group for city gov­ern­ments, for 30 years, in­clud­ing 13 as ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor. He also owned an Atlanta-based pri­vate con­sult­ing firm, Pub­lic Re­search and Man­age­ment, for 14 years.

Burgess be­gan his ca- reer as a city man­ager in Gas­to­nia, N.C., in 1958, af­ter grad­u­at­ing from the Univer­sity of North Carolina with a de­gree in busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion. He then earned a mas­ter’s in pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tion from the Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia and a law de­gree from the Woodrow Wil­son School of Law in Atlanta.

He and Made­line have three chil­dren, Lu­cia, 50, El­iz­a­beth, 48 and James Vance III, 42.

So­cial Cir­cle Coun­cil­man David Keener and re­tired So­cial Cir­cle res­i­dent Hosea Jack­son have an­nounced bids for mayor. Qual­i­fy­ing will take place the week of Aug. 29.


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