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Young writers get to be 'mayor' for day
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The Alston family stands with with Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas during a visit to Hinesville City Hall last month. TiAndrea Alston (second right) won first place in the annual If I Were Mayor... essay contest. - photo by Photo provided.

The city of Hinesville hosted its “If I Were Mayor…” essay winners at City Hall early in June.

The three essay contest winners were TiAndrea Alston and Casey Lower from Lewis Frasier Middle School and Gia Sabalboro from First Presbyterian Christian Academy. First- and second-place winners met with Mayor Jim Thomas to be “Mayor for the Day.”
Each student met in the mayor’s office to discuss city issues and programs.

When asked what she liked most about Hinesville, Alston said, “I like all the activities there are to do, but I want it to grow with more museums and parks.”

She also said more police protection and tourism would be her top initiatives as mayor.

“We’re proud of the essay you wrote and want to continue to hear from young people,” Thomas told her during the visit.
Lower also shared her thoughts on the city during her visit.

“I wish the people would be more interactive with the city instead of letting it fall apart and making other people work for it because I came from Colorado Springs, and everyone wanted to help out with the community, but nobody does here,” she said.

Thomas reassured Lower that there are many civilian and military people who do good things. He encouraged her to attend some of the community events to see how partnerships and collaboration are present in the area, and she agreed.

After giving suggestions on what they would do as mayor, Alston and Lower toured Hinesville City Hall and received a city coin.

To read their essays and ideas, visit

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