PORT WENTWORTH, Ga. – With “Thank You!” signs posted up and down his street, Gary Norton is still riding the high of his mayoral win on Tuesday.
Norton, 61, is a former city council member and currently works at International Paper. In January he will be sworn in as Port Wentworth’s new mayor.
Current Mayor Glenn Jones is finishing up his third term in office.
News 3 sat down with Norton to take concerns of voters directly to the new mayor.
“It’s exciting. It really is,” Norton said. “And it’s time to hit the ground running and get this city going.”
One voter said the city needs more businesses and “family attractions.”
“I’d like to see a fun park come here or a water slide park come here like Pooler has. We have some areas to come in and we’re going to be looking into that, at least I know I am, and the council will be with me,” Norton said. “We need some family friends restaurants also. Because we need to leave Port Wentworth to have a good place to eat.”
Another voter requested more activities for kids for after-school activites, which was one of Norton’s main talking points during his campaign.
“We need organized sports up there. We got the property for it for a new ball complex and we’re going to continue on to get that new complex up there,” he said. “It will be great for Port Wentworth.”
Norton says there is a plot of land on Minehard Road in Port Wentworth that will be used to construct a new sports complex.
Councilman Paul Fox said, “I don’t want to work with the Good Old Boy System. I want to be straight forward I want there to be transparency. I want the city to thrive.”
Norton responded, “that transparency hasn’t been working here for a long time. If something’s going on in this town, big or small, the people that its going affect, they need to be informed that it’s coming.”
Part of that transparency included a new warehouse that is being built in the city and the need, he says, to improve the city’s drainage systems.
“There’s ways of alleviating the flooding and we’ve fallen behind on it and we’ve gotta get started,” Norton said.
Norton also says he wants to take a look at a local tax concerning some homeowners.
“See what we can do with that 100 thousand dollar tax they have on the houses here, the extra tax that comes into the city of Port Wentworth and see where we’re at with that and see if that’s still necessary,” he said.
He says the city is a safe place to live but wants to increase the numbers officers visible.
“I’ve already been approached that there are streets that cops don’t go down,” Norton said. “You know we’re going to straighten that out.”
While he has a steep agenda ahead of him, Norton remains focused and asks for his community’s support.
“I”m gonna do everything I can. And I promise all you voters if you voted for me or you voted for Holbrook, it doesn’t matter. I’m here for all y’all,” Norton said.