This is his 16th year in Douglasville in city government, and his tenth as mayor. But Mayor Mickey Thompson says it’s going to be his last.
What does he want to be remembered for as mayor? Thompson replies “the efficient running of the government.” He says Douglasville grew by 66 percent while he was in city government, but property taxes dropped by 16 percent. “We didn’t raise the millage rate. We have fewer employees proving what I believe is a better level of service than we had in 2000.”
Thompson credits city employees for being able to do more with less. He adds that the city now bids out “everything,” and requires two signatures for approval of expenditures.
The mayor is proud of the buildings the city has been able to construct while under a very strict budget. “All our new structures, for the most part, are made of brick, so they’re built to last.”
Among the projects that make him smile are the parks and the municipal court building. “We’re renovating Hunter Park, we’ve just finished a new community center. We’re getting ready to start a new conference center.”
Ginny Zimbrzuski, the Mayor’s assistant, says she’ll remember the mayor most for his humanity. “I love when he goes downstairs and talks to the kids, and the students for career week. They tell him what they want to do for the future and he gives a story of his life and where he came from.”
But all that activity doesn’t leave room for family time. Thompson and his wife Janice, who is a State Farm Insurance agent, underscore that the mayor’s job is listed as part time, though it really requires full time attention.
“Every weekend we’re at some public event or visiting a church or doing some community activity, and it takes a lot away from your personal life,” Janice sighs.
Especially with three grandchildren. Thompson would really like to spend more time with them “while I can still get around and enjoy them,” he says.
Janice says she’s very proud of the job her husband has done, and she was “delighted when he made the decision that he wasn’t going to run again.”
Both the mayor and his wife look forward to his retirement on Dec. 31, but the mayor hasn’t ruled out stepping up in another leadership role “if I can help, and I’m able to do so.” However, the mayor doesn’t expect it would be in government.
Thompson says his replacement will have to know budgets and government, and he’ll help any way possible in the transition. He knows of several city councilors who have expressed interest.
As a businesswoman, Janice would like to see the city continue “quality growth.” The mayor agrees with her. “We’ve been able to start a city development authority, which already brought in Hylands College and a number of businesses.”
More new companies are preparing to make Douglasville their home, the mayor continues. “We’re ready to make some announcements, particularly a large one that’ll be about 150 employees. And I hope that the city continues to grow with economic and job opportunities with a higher payscale.” That’s a legacy he’d be proud to have left behind.