Drinking From a Firehose
In February 2013, I wrote my first article to update the 20th District as the new member of our state’s House of Representatives. I called the article “Drinking From a Firehose.” And now, in 2022, as I start my service as the 31st mayor of the city of Woodstock, that theme feels more appropriate than ever. This is the first time our city has had a new mayor in 16 years, after four fantastic terms under Mayor Donnie Henriques that saw unprecedented growth and success for our community. As you can imagine, transitioning to a new leader for the 29th-largest city in the eighth-largest state in America requires a delicate handoff of institutional knowledge. I owe a huge thanks to my predecessor, our outstanding city management staff and each of our department heads for helping to make sure that I hit the ground running.
The city of Woodstock has more than 200 full-time, part-time and seasonal employees across 11 departments, and we serve more than 35,000 residents every day. Leading this community is a big task, and there are plenty of moving parts.
Serving as the mayor in Woodstock isn’t a full-time job, though. It isn’t intended to be one. Being a citizen mayor means balancing your work, family and city priorities. Speaking of family priorities, Katie and I are expecting the arrival of our third child, Charlotte, to be born on March 3, and we’d appreciate your prayers for a healthy, happy birth!
Many of you know that I also own Black Airplane, an award-winning, digital product agency, employing nearly 30 Georgians full-time in downtown Woodstock. Continuing our business’s growth, and investing in the incredible people who work with us there requires time and effort. From three kids, to a growing business, to supporting Katie in her work as the president of Woodstock Arts’ board of directors, and my own time on boards (I serve as the governor’s appointee on the Georgia Technology Authority, the History Cherokee board and the Cherokee Public Health board), our family has plenty of great places to invest our time and passions. It’s easy to invest in a place you love.
This is what makes our city so great. In the same way that I loved that our state Legislature was filled with citizen legislators working real jobs and experiencing life as everyday Georgians, our council and mayor in Woodstock are made up of everyday Woodstockers looking to leave our next generation an even better city. Anyone can serve their neighbors in this community, and that is exactly the way it should be.
As we start this incredible journey together, I want you to know how grateful I am for your trusting me with this role. I used to say that representing our families in the state House was the honor of my lifetime. Well, leading this city that I love is an honor and a privilege that I never will be able to describe. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. We have built a place that people want to be, and our calling today is to build a place that will last. That will be the mission of my administration. We will leave our children a city that they will be proud to inherit. We’ll do it by drinking from the firehose, leaning in each day and investing in this incredible place.
I’m excited to work with each of you to continue to see Woodstock thrive. Let’s get to work.
– Mayor Michael Caldwell