Sharpsburg girl wins statewide essay contest

A sixth grade student from Sharpsburg took home the honors recently when she was selected as the overall state winner of the 12th Annual “If I Were Mayor, I Would...” Contest sponsored by the Georgia Municipal Association.

A student at Woodward Academy in College Park and resident of Sharpsburg, sixth grader Keera McDonald wrote about increasing tourism in her town. McDonald’s winning entry competed with those of more than 6,200 students across the state’s 12 districts.

McDonald in her winning essay said:

“If I were Mayor, I would make my town a better place to live by focusing on tourism and increasing jobs. In this essay I present just a few of my ideas and how I would achieve these goals.

“First, I will meet with my City Council to agree on a new budget that includes money to promote tourism.

“I will advertise my town’s positive attributes. This will attract more tourists, create new jobs and further increase tax revenue. There are many historic homes and natural attractions in Coweta County, where I live. I would advertise these historical and natural attractions by marketing on a social network like Facebook, a site that is popular with many people. I would also organize a ‘Make Our Town Beautiful Day’ to encourage all citizens to plant trees and flowers and clean up litter. We might also hold an annual ‘Flower Festival’ to raise funds for renovations to the town.

“My second objective is to boost employment. My efforts to increase tourism will contribute to this goal. The other reason I will increase jobs is to reduce foreclosed properties which make the town less attractive to tourists. I will also propose to the City Council to impose fines on banks if they neglect the foreclosed homes in our town.

“Mayors can’t solve all of the town’s problems by themselves! So, as mayor, I will organize a monthly ‘Monday Nights with the Mayor’ at the town hall. All the citizens with ideas for accomplishing our goals for quality of life and tourism growth can participate. I would take my City Council on visits to well run, regional towns to share ideas about town development.

“There are so many things I could think of to do if I were mayor. The few I address in this essay are some of the most important. Above all, I believe that the key to building a strong foundation for making a town a better place to live starts with making sure its citizens lead secure and comfortable lives.”

Sharpsburg Mayor Wendell Staley attended the GMA meeting and invited Keera to attend a Town Council meeting.

Though now a student at Woodward, Keera previously attended the Heritage School in Newnan. She thanked the teachers at Heritage for laying her academic foundation, especially third grade teacher Meg Barbee and fourth grade teacher Kay Huffstickler.

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