Eutaw Mayor Johnson gives first State of the City Address, listing specific fixes and improvements

Mayor Lastasha Johnson

Eutaw Mayor Latasha Johnson created another first for the City of Eutaw by delivering a very detailed State of the City address at a community luncheon held Friday, November 19, 2021, at the R.H. Young Community Center (the former Carver school).
The mayor prefaced her comments with reflections on her upbringing. “ I was raised in Eutaw in Carver Circle. I learned the value of hard work at an early age and I continue to maintain a strong work ethic. I want to see the city that raised me and made me who I am today, thrive and grow.”
Mayor Johnson served four years on the Eutaw City Council before seeking the mayor’s position.
In her address she provided a summary of the troubled areas of the city government that existed when she came into office. “The previous administration ended with a majority of the police officers resigning, the water department having several ADEM violations, our city property with an IRS tax lien, and a lack of office personnel to handle the day-to-day operations of the city, no budget or financial plan”
The Mayor’s report also listed the various improvements she and her Team Eutaw have put in place in the previous year. “We have resolved the IRS lien, after fines, penalties and interest of a quarter million dollars. We have a new city clerk. We have implemented and updated a city website and Facebook page. We have a new phone system and internet set up which is expected to reduce expenses by as much as $40,000 each year. We have worked on a community notification system and implemented a new budgeting and financial management system that will keep us on budget,” she said. The mayor noted that her administration was the first to have a budget passed in many years.
According to Mayor Johnson, the city’s revenue for the past year fiscal year was nearly $1.2 million, nearly doubling that of several previous years, and boasting a $260,000 surplus.
The mayor discussed other improvements brought about by her administration as listed below:
Hired a full time water and wastewater operator, and other employees including police officers a Park and Recreation Director, additional magistrates.
* Provided pay raises for city employees.
* Obtained new vehicles and equipment, including a street sweeper, grapple truck
* Secured a $500,000 grant for the Eutaw Airport Authority.
* Working to provide the first independent audit of city finances in eight years.
* Working hard to bring openness and transparency to City Hall with online meetings and community engagements.
* Resumed relations with the Chamber of Commerce, the Industrial Development Authority, and neighboring municipalities.
* Supporting Greene County E911.
Installed online payments and auto pay for the first time.
Upgraded all technology.
City will secure a new garbage company.
Cancelled unnecessary contracts and reduced expenses.
Mayor Johnson extended special appreciation to the various individuals who worked tirelessly to bring about the changes and adjustments needed to put the city on the right track. “ I want to thank everyone, the police officers, office staff, the street workers, city council and citizens who have been instrumental in making my first year in office a hugh success. I could not have done any of this without you. I am thankful and humbled by your hard work,” she stated.

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