CUMMING, Ga. — Not a year after Cumming Mayor H. Ford Gravitt took office in 1971, his successor was born.
Troy Brumbalow was elected Nov. 7, marking a new era in Cumming history.
In a battle over the nearly 1,000 votes cast, Brumbalow garnered nearly 60 percent.
“It was time for a new vision,” Brumbalow said. “Our community has been yearning for a city where they can visit and spend time in a family environment without going to a neighboring county.”
Brumbalow, a local builder/remodeler and tanning salon owner, has lived in the county for 34 years. He graduated from South Forsyth High School in 1990 as its first class president and valedictorian.
His initial plans as mayor include getting acclimated with the inner workings of city government and begging to put positive changes into action. He hopes to create a city and community that every citizen is proud to call home and that others will want to emulate.
One of his main focus areas has been the city’s downtown, which now houses the county jail, administrative buildings and a chicken plant down the road.
Though he said the downtown square can’t change too much, it has been “robbed of its small town Southern charm as it has become a cluster of big government buildings.”
His plans include a walkable city center with shops and restaurants.
“However, there are many other areas very close to the square that can be transformed into quaint shopping and dining venues that pay tribute to a simpler time,” Brumbalow said. “Live music will play a vital role in these areas. We will accomplish this through a collaborative effort with local government and the private sector.”
One of Gravitt’s most notable accomplishments was imposing no city property taxes, and Brumbalow said he will ensure that will continue.
The city center he envisions would be paid for by the city’s share of the next Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.
The property would be owned by the city and leased to the businesses, he said.
“This will bring millions to our general fund on an annual basis while establishing a community environment that citizens have been yearning for,” Brumbalow said. “We would improve the fairgrounds and utilize it to greatly improve revenues. The fairgrounds have a tremendous opportunity to increase revenue and promote a sense of community that is fading quickly. Fifty years under the current mayor has brought us to where we are today. It is time to move the city forward with fresh ideas and vision.”