Grayson’s longest currently serving council member could replace the long-serving mayor this year.
Allison Wilkerson, a 12-year member of the City Council, announced on Wednesday she would run for mayor to replace Jim Hinkle, who announced his retirement at Monday’s council session.
“I have worked with Mayor Hinkle for 12 years and respect the dedication and effort he has always put into his work on behalf of Grayson citizens,” Wilkerson said.
A lifelong resident of the small city, Wilkerson’s father Doug Wilkerson served as mayor prior to Hinkle’s latest tenure. (Hinkle served as mayor a total of 24 years, including six terms in the 1980s and ’90s before returning to office for the past 12 years.)
“Mayor Hinkle succeeded my father as mayor in 2002, and I intend to work hard to earn the votes of Grayson residents, so that I can have the honor of succeeding Mayor Hinkle,” Wilkerson, a real estate broker, added.
Roche plans Lawrenceville council race
A Lawrenceville businessman is hoping to attract more commerce to the city, as a new councilman.
Keith Roche, who retired after managing a multi-million sales and operating expense budget for PPG Industries, announced he will qualify next week to run for city council for the position expected to be vacated by P.K. Martin, who announced he is not seeking re-election.
“My wife Beverly and I moved to Lawrenceville nearly 20 years ago because it’s a great place to live with its small town atmosphere, friendly neighbors, excellent city services and convenience to shopping and entertainment. However, even with all of our blessings in Lawrenceville, we are facing real and serious challenges that must be addressed to improve our city and to make Lawrenceville all that it can and should be. That’s why I have decided to run for City Council,” said Roche, who will resign from the city Planning Commission to mount the campaign.
“While not easy, my priorities are simple. We need to attract high-quality businesses into the city that will then attract new residents and consumers. There is no reason why we can’t bring high-quality economic development opportunities into Lawrenceville instead of seeing those projects go elsewhere. I will work tirelessly to improve the appearance of the major corridors coming into the city and work to ensure we enforce the laws on the books to clean up our neighborhoods. We must do so in order to attract new businesses and residents.
“We need to continue creating partnerships with Gwinnett Medical and Georgia Gwinnett College, and more importantly create a city where the doctors and professors of those institutions want to live here,” he said. “And I want to see our city government run like a business where there is responsible budgeting, where we invest in priorities to improve our city and where citizens are respected as customers.”
“By accomplishing these goals, we will improve our city, our quality of life and our property values,” added Roche.
Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Camie Young can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/politics.