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Hammock on the radio at WTLS

Second term begins

By Michael Butler

The new Tallassee City Council was sworn in on Nov. 2 at City Hall. On Nov. 10, the new group had its first official council meeting.

Tallassee mayor Johnny Hammock begins his second four years in office and is optimistic about continuing what he started in 2016.

"When I first started, I made myself a promise to represent all of Tallassee and not just a chosen few," Hammock noted in a Facebook post. "When I first took office I found that the city was on the verge of bankruptcy and could barely make payroll each month. The city also was hit with a consent decree from ADEM that fined us $50,000 and required us to make $5 million worth of much needed repairs to our waste water facility. We had to stop the bleeding and make some decisions that I knew would open myself and the council up for ridicule."

Hammock said he believes that transparency helped him to be re-elected.

"I know in my heart that I have done the best I possibly could do and plan to give it 100 percent for another four years. Some people like to spread lies and untruths because they did not get their way or a decision that I have made was not in their favor. I just want you to know that I am not mad at you. I totally understand that this position makes a person like me a social media punching bag. Just because you lost me as a friend doesn't mean you gained me as an enemy. I still want to see you eat, just not at my table."

Hammock highlighted some of the previous administration's accomplishments including garnering $4 million in grants. He also discussed the announcement of a new mega prison that is expected to be built just outside of the city limits.

"The governor announced that a new mega prison that will employ over 700 people. In my opinion this will be a huge economic impact for our surrounding area. Any ship moving forward creates wake. I am compassionate to the people that live next to the site and truly understand your frustration. I imagine the people in close proximity to the landfill just outside the city limits across the river felt the same way years ago.

"I understand some people want to say that there has been some sort of collusion between the governor, Core Civic, Department of Corrections and myself. I might be a lot of things, but kickbacks are not a part of this administration. I know change is hard and uncertain, but together we have a chance to make this a great place if we work together and capitalize on this growth."


Sarah Hill and Jeremy Taunton are also beginning their second terms on the city council.

"I enjoy the council," Taunton said. "There are certain things I don't like about it because I'm not a politician. I'm just an average Joe that wants to do what's best for the whole city, not one section. That's our job. It's about the bigger picture. People want tranparency. They want you to tell them the truth. The problem is they can't handle the truth."

Hill talked about the hierarchy of city operations.

"Johnny is the CEO of the city, the chief executive officer," she said. "We're the legislative body of the city. None of us has power individually, we only have power as a council and a vote. It's very beneficial to have people that are willing to work together and there are lots of disagreements. We're not all yes men. When we do have a disagreement, we work together, make compromises and move together as a whole."

Hammock concurred.

"We're going to be adults and agree to disagree, not go on Facebook and to the water coolers and stir up strife. We're going to be professional and hopefully dress more professional, not come to council meetings in t-shirts and jogging pants. You represent your ward and the city of Tallassee. You've got to respect the office. I look forward to moving Tallassee forward into the future."