GARDEN CITY, Ga. (WTOC) – Wednesday was the final day on the job for the mayor of Backyard Metropolis.
Mayor Don Bethune made the sudden announcement of his early departure two weeks in the past. WTOC was the primary to share the information.
He sat down in an unique one-on-one with WTOC this week to speak about what led as much as his resolution.
Bethune stated his daughter has stage 4 most cancers and she or he wants him now greater than ever.
“Household comes first surely,” he stated.
The outgoing mayor served Backyard Metropolis for years, however when household calls, he solutions.
“When my daughter developed a stage 4 most cancers and it was a sort that was very uncommon and really aggressive….that was thyroid most cancers and I knew my household wanted me.”
A public servant for many of his life…
“When it obtained to that half it was straightforward.”
From the Savannah Hearth Division to Backyard Metropolis councilmember and a second time period as mayor, he stated it was time.
Reflecting on his practically 13 years of service, Bethune stated he did his greatest.
“I’ve loved being mayor. I’ve been humbled that the residents elected me. I attempted to do an excellent job, tried to work onerous, however a few of my greatest enjoyment is all the homes I labored on.”
‘Not a politician’ is one thing he stands by. He stated he has at all times simply been a involved citizen attempting to do what’s greatest for them.
“We’ve made great strides in our advantages and within the job market that we’re in…that’s what it takes.”
One of many choices he’s most happy with – elevating pay for metropolis staff, paying 100% of their healthcare, retirement at 55 years outdated, additional trip days and medical health insurance after retirement.
He’s additionally leaving with a couple of months left on town’s industrial rezoning moratorium. Town has been pushing for extra housing, now they’re catching the attention of Hyundai builders attempting to get housing for his or her staff.
“They’ve been very . They’ve preferred what Backyard Metropolis has proven. Quite a lot of occasions for housing initiatives, town or county may not be enthusiastic about it. We’re enthusiastic about housing. I need to have the ability to inform builders, we wish you to come back to Backyard Metropolis.”
The mayor is able to move the baton to soon-to-be Interim Mayor Bruce Campbell. His parting phrases of recommendation…
“You’re going to need to step up the mark and preserve your telephone shut by.”
Now, council has to nominate a brand new councilmember and mayor professional tem.
There received’t be a particular election.
Campbell can be sworn in on September 8.
On the September 19 assembly, council will nominate their very own candidates. Whoever has essentially the most votes will get the seat.
It received’t be marketed, simply by phrase of mouth, in accordance with the mayor.
From there, they’ll elect a brand new mayor professional tem. That might be a present council member or the newly elected member.
Extra growth coming quickly…
Backyard Metropolis has some huge developments within the works.
Town is making progress with Chatham Space Transit to get extra bus stops added on Freeway 21.
If a deal goes by means of, they stated they’ll be the primary metropolis to pay for CAT providers.
70 residences can be constructed off Dean Forest Highway behind metropolis corridor.
A partnership with the Georgia Ports on the mega rail challenge continues.
After WTOC’s interview with Mayor Bethune, he stated a GoFundMe was arrange for his daughter’s most cancers remedies.
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