News Sports Opinion Photos Social Classified Obits Contact

Hammock: "We want to be great"

By Michael Butler

When Tony the Tiger roared, "They're great!" in a classic television commercial for Frosted Flakes cereal, the line carried a certain bit of chutzpah. The same can be said with mayor Johnny Hammock's thoughts on what he wants for Tallassee.

"We're a good city. We need to be a great city. Good is the enemy of being great. I don't want a good police department. I want a great police department. I want a great fire department. I want a great city government. I want a great school system.

"To get from good to great, you've got to get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus. You've got to get them in the right seats; city council, board of education, police department, fire department. That's what we're trying to do."

The past is just a memory according to Hammock.

"We were a textile town. This town grew up around the mill and the river. Everybody worked at the mill at one time. You bought your groceries at the Company Store. They took it out of your check. You lived in a mill house. It was taken out of your check.

"Everything is historical. The mill is gone. The hotel, unfortunately, is gone. We've got to move on."

So what's the answer to take Tallassee to greatness in the future?

"Economic development starts with infrastructure, civic leadership and workforce development. We've got to get people off the sidelines being keyboard warriors on Facebook and get involved. Get on the Community Development Corporation, run for city council, run for mayor. Let's make this a great place. Put up or shut up."