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2017 is here
Thoughts on the new year

Happy New Years. 2017 is here.

With every new year comes the optimism of a fresh start, hope for the future and the annual tradition of making resolutions. Here’s what a handful of Liberty County leaders said about the coming year.

Leah Poole, executive director of the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce and CVB:

"I am looking forward to the prospect of more filming in Liberty County. With the recent show that wrapped in early December we saw a major economic impact that we hope can be repeated with the addition of future productions. Filming is also an avenue for our children to explore hidden talents and whole new skill sets with educational opportunities like Savannah Tech’s film academy. Exciting times!

"I am also looking forward to offering more workshops for both our members and the community. For January we already have event planning scheduled and March will be active shooter training/basic self defense. These type of low cost educational opportunities are vital to our small business owners, as we’re grateful to have great community partners like Liberty County EMA and the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department to help with instruction.

"I am also looking forward to all of the new pictures yet to be taken of Liberty County in 2017! It’s so exciting to see pictures by some of my local favs: John Henderson, Jeff Jones and Bianca Croft every day and know that they each love Liberty County as much as I do and the perspective of each is so different, the skill varied and yet the love of place shines through!

"My New Year’s resolution is to take more time off to spend with friends and family. It’s hard when you love your job to realize that as much fun as it is, you do need downtime. So for 2017, my goal is actually use my vacation leave for vacation!"

Donald Lovette, chairman of the Liberty County Board of Commissioners:

"No. 1. To provide progressive leadership, vision and county prosperity in collaboration with commissioners, mayors and councilpersons and Fort Stewart; No. 2. The start of SPLOST funds in April 2017; No. 3. Economic development. Opening of the new Oglethorpe Square Shopping Center and the commercial spinoff’s from that venture. The enhancement, promotion and development of the county gateways and historic sites; No. 4. Kick-off for the Liberty County Wellness Initiative. ‘A healthy county is a wealthy county!’; No. 5. Increased citizen engagement though town halls and social media, with a special emphasis on youth initiatives, Local Government 101 and county planning."

Bruce Muncher, board member of the Veterans Memorial Walk:

"What I’m most excited about for 2017 is the completion and dedication of the Veterans Memorial Walk at Bryant Commons. This has been a vision for many in our community and will become a reality in the fall of 2017 and will honor all of the branches of service and

will honor all of the branches of service and those that have served and still serve.

"I’m looking forward to a stronger job market and increase in the number of jobs locally with the completion of the new shopping center on Highway 84.

"It is a normal cycle within the election process that Democrats increase social programs and Republicans build up defense of our nation. I am hoping that a Republican led House, Senate and the White House will help strengthen our military and its numbers and protect and stabilize the benefits for soldiers who serve and have served.

"They serve 365 days a year 24/ 7 to help protect and defend and are not compensated for their worth and their benefits continue to erode.

"I work with so many varied nonprofits, as well as my own, but my resolution for 2017 is to scale back some and do a little bit more for myself because I’m always doing for others. I actually want to take some time and enjoy the retirement I worked so long to obtain and actually try to finish one of the four books that I’m working on."

Allen Brown, mayor of Hinesville:

"To spend more quality time with my family and get more exercise."

For Hinesville in 2017, he is looking forward to, "A successful opening of the Oglethorpe Square Shopping Center, hopefully to lower the millage rate again, move our city forward and bring citizens together, to continue our great relationship with Fort Stewart and to make great use of our SPLOST funds."

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