Amelia Rose of Ward 3 and Pat Tanner of Ward 1 will soon transition out of the spotlight as Canton city councilwomen.
Both Rose, believed to be the longest-serving council member and one of the first women elected to the post, and Tanner, being the first black woman elected to the City Council, will make way for their successors.
Glen Cummins will become the new Ward 3 councilman, while E.H. “Hooky” Huffman will take over as the city’s Ward 1 councilman.
Combined, both Rose and Tanner have nearly three decades of experience under their belts and said they will definitely miss serving the public.
“I’m sad because I’ve enjoyed it,” said Rose, who lost her bid for a fifth four-year term.
Tanner, who was also defeated in her quest for a third term, said she believed she’s given the city “eight good years” and has enjoyed every minute of her role.
Both Rose and Tanner said they were proud of the city’s achievements, including getting The Bluffs of Technology Park up and ready for development, building the G. Cecil Pruett Community Family YMCA, investing in the Canton Golf Course, partnering with the Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority to build the Hickory Log Creek Reservoir and dam and making way for Canton Marketplace to come online.
Tanner said she was also proud to serve on the council that upgraded equipment for its police and fire departments, installing a cistern system at the South Canton Fire Station, moving forward with the city’s Livable Centers Initiative streetscapes project and making improvements at Boling Park.
“A lot of things have been accomplished, but a lot of things I wanted to see accomplished had not been accomplished,” Tanner said, adding she was proud to work on cutting the city’s debt service.
Rose said she was satisfied to see the city complete renovations on City Hall and also encourage quality growth with neighborhoods such as Laurel Canyon, Prominence Point and Great Sky.
Both Rose and Tanner said they wished they could stick around to see the replacement Northside Hospital-Cherokee facility built off Cumming Highway/Highway 20, and the development of active and passive parks using a portion of Cherokee County parks bond money.
“I think we’ve made a lot of accomplishments and I’m proud of that,” Rose said.
They also said they’d hope to see the city make significant progress on building a third fire station, which could be tied to the city at least retaining its ISO rating of 4.
Tanner also said one of her most rewarding achievements was that she was the first black woman elected to the City Council.
“And I hope I’m not the last,” she said.
Both Tanner and Rose said they were also grateful to have worked closely with the city’s employees.
Tanner added she was proud the council hired Scott Wood as the city manager in 2009.
“He’s done an excellent job for the city and I was looking forward to working with him for the next four years,” she said. “I feel that the professionalism, ideas and forethought he’s brought to the city has helped us as a council, and hopefully he will be allowed to do the job as the city manger and continue to move the city forward.”
Mayor Gene Hobgood said he will miss working with both Tanner and Rose, and wished “them well in any future endeavors they may have.”
“They have done a really good job for the citizens of the city for the past eight and 21 years respectively,” he said.
Councilmen John Beresford and Bob Rush agreed.
Rush said both of his colleagues were “great people to work with” and were “dedicated public servants.”
“It’s been a pleasure working with them and it’s been my benefit just to know them,” he said.
Beresford said both Rose and Tanner saw Canton undergo rapid changes over the past two decades and were “aware of the different needs” the city would have in the future.
Councilman Jack Goodwin echoed Beresford and Rush’s sentiments, adding he often called on them to get advice on issues the city was tasked to respond to.
“They’ve done a wonderful job,” he said. “They were just wonderful to work with. I will really miss them.”
Wood said both Rose and Tanner had a common “and evident love of this community” during their tenures, and “readily responded when called on for advice and direction, and they have both served tirelessly and enthusiastically in helping identify and address many of the challenges confronting our city.”
“They are due a debt of gratitude from our city, along with best wishes for some much-deserved rest from the pressures and obligations inherent in serving on City Council,” he said.
Along with being part of the decision-making process for city governance, Rose and Tanner said they were also thankful to have gotten the chance to know and serve their constituents.
They also had some advice for their successors.
“Keep in mind what is best for the city,” Rose said, adding it’s imperative elected officials keep an open mind when considering issues facing the city.
Tanner added any and all votes should be cast in the best interest for Canton residents.
She also encouraged her successor to study the many angles on issues and to remember they represent all residents and not any special interests or individuals.
“It’s a team effort and it’s not about you,” she said. “Be willing to work and cooperate with colleagues. Everyone’s opinion is worth something. You may not always agree, but at least value their input.”