Hill to seek council seat
“There is so much potential here. It just needs to be harnessed and guided. We need to grow, but we need to be strategic about that growth” Sarah Hill said while sitting on the porch of her Ward 2 home in Tallassee. “I want to be a part of that. I want to help guide that.”
And Hill has immediately gotten to work, going through Ward 2 on a door-knock campaign to meet the people in her area.
“I want us to reposition our town’s identity - that of a small-town community that honors our past but also looks to our future. I would also like to be more commuter and tourist friendly,” Hill said. Having the opportunity to see the town from many different facets (a local, a commuter, a parent and a young professional), Hill has compiled a list of the town’s strengths and weaknesses that, if elected, she will continue to help grow and improve upon with economic growth and development topping the list:
- The addition of a new Walmart, the impending arrival of Tractor Supply (being built in the old Winn-Dixie building) and a 24-hour gym, the city of Tallassee is seeing growth on all levels. That something that can be continued as long as the residents continue to support the new endeavors.
- Encouraging businesses to harness the power of the commuters and provide opportunities for those who work outside of Tallassee but choose to live here. That can be accomplished by offering non-standard business hours or offering after-hour specials to give them an opportunity to shop and utilize the town’s services.
- By adding the new businesses, Tallassee’s bottom-line will continue to improve and, as a result, the community will benefit with dollars going into the schools and into the Parks and Recreation program. It will also create more jobs within the city limits and help encourage young families to return to Tallassee after going off to college.
“I want to return the town’s profile to it’s former glory - that can definitely be done with a strategy - to continue to serve the residents here and attract more,” Hill said. “Seventeen years ago, my father invested in this town and continued to drive growth here until his passing in 2014. His leadership and vision for this town has become clearer to me in the last few years and I would like to leave a legacy here for my children.”
One of the biggest draws to the area is Lake Martin, and there are thousands of people going through Tallassee on holiday weekends. By creating a tourism friendly climate and having options for travelers to shop, there is the potential to increase the revenue for the city.
With the fire a few weeks ago destroying what’s left of the decaying mill property, the new council will have to continue to encourage the owners to clean up and dispose of the ruins. This is an opportunity, with Hill on board, to revitalize that area and turn into something that drives the economy. “Focusing on the past solely will further stagnate growth, let’s create a memorial or statue honoring the mills and what good it brought to the town, but we also need to look ahead and see what can become the ‘next big thing’.
“Tallassee has been in the news recently because of some serious negative stories- indictments of former police officer, charges brought on a city employee and the arson involving the recent mill fire indicates our city may have a public relations problem. One of the things I would address is developing a public relations campaign to showcase the good that happens in Tallassee. Things such as Tallassee Now and our new businesses should be featured on news stations in both the Auburn and Montgomery markets. Citizens of Tallassee need to have their trust restored that the best interests of the average citizen are at the forefront of Tallassee’s growth.”
“The best thing about Tallassee is that it is a diamond in the rough, it just needs the right craftspeople to make it shine. I want the citizens to know that “smart growth” won’t change Tallassee’s small-town identity - in fact, it will only help to serve the citizens of this town better than they are now. I think I have the ideas and the skills to make that happen.”
Hill is the daughter of the late Lt. Col. Gary C. Morgan. She currently works at the Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy as an administrator of continuing education programs, and is the former Assistant Director of Leadership Development for the Alabama Association of School Boards. Her training in board development, teamwork, strategic planning and communication skills will be an asset to the Tallassee City Council and the city at large. In addition to these boardsmanship skills, she also has a background in economic development, marketing, public relations and fundraising.
She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Political Science and Business Administration, and will graduate in December with a Master’s of Science in Management and Organizational Leadership, both degrees at Troy University. During her studies, she was invited and accepted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society and remains a member of this prestigious organization.
She is a Leadership Elmore County class of 2013 graduate and served as a board member and chair-elect for LEC until 2015.
Sarah’s husband, Jake, is a volunteer firefighter with the Tallassee Fire Department and a professional firefighter for the Department of Defense. Their two daughters, Meredith and Cadence, both attend Tallassee City Schools. Meredith will be a freshman at Tallassee High School and Cadence will be in 4th grade at Tallassee Elementary School.