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Woodstock’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget

Of Woodstock City Council's many important duties, the most critical is the passage of a fiscally responsible, balanced budget every year. On June 12, the Council passed the budget ordinance, which I signed. This action provides our government with its Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Budget, which is effective July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024. The Council...

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Woodstock's Creative Business Home

Over the last few months, I've been sharing the stories of Woodstock's unsung heroes, the industrious visionaries who toil away behind the scenes, molding and shaping our community into something truly extraordinary. This month, I want to introduce you to a special place right in the heart of our beloved city, Made Mercantile.Settled among the clas...

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Honoring Volunteers

Over the last two months during City Council meetings, I had the opportunity to honor several Boy Scouts from Troop 625 and Girl Scouts from Troop 14665 for earning the illustrious President's Volunteer Service Award (PVSA). Established in 2003 by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation, the PVSA was created to recognize the outs...

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The Importance of Woodstock’s Parks and Trails

One of the largest drivers of the City of Woodstock's success, both in an economic sense and in its higher quality of life, has been our focus on parks and recreation. My three main goals for Woodstock this year revolve around making homeownership more widely available, attracting additional high paying jobs and employers to our city, and expanding...

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Woodstock’s Thriving Arts Scene

For more than 100 years, April 15 has been tax day in America. As a business owner, I share your bad feelings about the day. This year, I'm choosing to focus on another celebration taking place that day. Did you know that April 15 is also World Art Day? I'm no artist. I can't sing or draw, and those who have heard my Spotify playlist have been quic...

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Mayor Michael Caldwell Delivers State of the City 2023 Address

Mayor Michael Caldwell delivered his 2023 State of the City address in January. In his speech, he highlighted the City of Woodstock's accomplishments in 2022 and outlined his priorities for 2023. "This month marks the dawn of a new quarter century in our city's story, and I mean for us to meet it head on. We will not pass on this day's challenges t...

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What Does the Mayor Do? (+ Other Woodstock Officials)

One of the most common questions I'm asked is "what does a mayor do?" Article IX of the Constitution of Georgia, which guarantees the right of "Home Rule" to citizens and the more than 500 cities in our state, enables local governments to pass their own laws and govern within the constitutional bounds and limitations set by the legislature. Each ci...

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Transparent and Accessible Government in Woodstock

Making government more accessible and information more available to citizens has been a core value for me during my time in both the House of Representatives and as Woodstock's mayor. While in the legislature, I pioneered transparency measures in campaign finance by sharing daily, down-to-the-penny financial updates online. I was the first to live-...

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Happy 125th Birthday, Woodstock!

 On December 8, the city of Woodstock will celebrate its 125th birthday! In the northern arc of metro Atlanta, it isn't rare to come across a city that is younger than my second grader. By comparison, our city has a rich history and a compelling story. As our tourism department will remind you, it truly is "A City Unexpected." In the early 19t...

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Thanksgiving, an American Heritage

 It is hard to believe that we've already reached the month of November. The past several years have been historic in so many ways, and historic seasons have a way of flying by. As Woodstock makes its way into autumn in earnest, we'll join the nation this month in pausing to give thanks. It's a tradition so ingrained in American culture that w...

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November’s Decision on SPLOST Renewal

Cherokee is one of only four of the 159 counties in Georgia with a 6% sales tax. Every other county has a higher tax rate. Where do those six pennies go? Four percent goes directly to the State of Georgia's general fund and are implemented automatically under state law. The remaining 2% was previously put in place by Cherokee County voters and must...

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Investing in the Woodstock Police Department

Of the roughly 18,000 police departments spread across the U.S., I can confidently say that the Woodstock Police Department is among the very best. Our officers, under the leadership of our new Chief Robert Jones and his predecessor Chief Calvin Moss, consistently serve our citizens well by centering their work on the Department's four core values:...

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City of Woodstock’s FY2023 Budget Illuminates Priorities

 Each year, the most important duty of Woodstock's City Council is the adoption of a fiscally responsible, balanced budget, which was completed on June 13. I signed the ordinance to provide for our FY2023 Budget, and its execution took effect July 1, 2022, and will end June 30, 2023. I'm proud that Woodstock continues to assess some of the low...

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Lemonade Day A Lesson in Entrepreneurship

As the mayor of Woodstock, and Woodstock's former member of the Georgia House of Representatives, I have had the honor of serving our families in two different elected roles that are (very intentionally) part-time. In my opinion, citizen legislators and citizen mayors make for better public servants. Keeping these roles part-time, and paying them c...

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Woodstock’s Comprehensive Transportation Plan

In 2021, the downtown Woodstock shopping district had more than three million visitors, which ranks it among the most frequented downtowns in the southeastern U.S., and it ranks the center of our city as the No. 1 destination in Cherokee County. We have built a place where people from all around the nation want to be. With Woodstock's popularity, m...

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State of the City Recap

As Woodstock's new mayor, one of my first official duties was to present the State of the City Address to our council and the public. My speech highlighted that our city is leading from a position of strength. With publications like and Money Magazine ranking Woodstock among the best places to live in America, calling us one ...

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Drinking From a Firehose

In 2013, when I first began serving in the Georgia House of Representatives, I was often asked how things were going. "I feel like I am drinking from a firehose," was my consistent response. Today, as the 31st mayor of the City of Woodstock, that phrase feels more appropriate than ever. This year, I was sworn in as Woodstock's first new mayor in 16...

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Meet the William G. Long Senior Center’s New Coordinator

A new Senior Center coordinator joined the Woodstock Parks and Recreation team this past October. Julie Markley is a recent transplant from Fort Worth, Texas, where she owned an ice cream business called Gypsy Scoops. Before that, she worked in economic development and tourism for the Six Points Urban Village. Markley is a graduate of the Universit...

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Dear neighbors and friends,

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for selecting me to serve as the 31st mayor of the City of Woodstock. I am grateful, and I intend to give it my all.For the past several years, you have provided me with the opportunity to serve as our community's voice in the Georgia House of Representatives, which has been a truly humbling honor. During my ti...

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A Wild Ride

It has been 20 years folks: four years as a councilmember and 16 years as mayor. It's time to step back and evaluate what I'm going to do in full retirement. I retired from Northside Hospital in 2018. I feel confident that the City of Woodstock will be in great shape. Mayor Elect Michael Caldwell is going through a four-month "training" period to b...

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