Cedartown's new chief municipal judge and Polk County Chamber of Commerce chairman is a busy man, and will stay busy as he continues to keep up his law practice as well.
Andrew Roper, who has picked up these new titles in 2014, said he expects that his life will be plenty busy this year with trying to juggle his duties in court and in promoting businesses large and small around the county. He said so far he’s looking forward to the challenges that face him this year.
He said he felt his first day as chief magistrate judge in court on Jan. 10 went well, and that he plans to run a “firm, but fair court.”
Roper’s main duties on the bench are comprised of hearing and ruling on cases for traffic offenses, misdemeanors, and ordinance violations.
Fortunately for Roper, the courts won’t be taking up all his time, and he sees no conflict of interest between what he does in his practice and how he handles issues in his courtroom.
“It’s a part time judgeship,” he said. We hold court twice a month, usually on the second and fourth Friday.”
Along with spending time on the bench, Roper will also be spending time in boardrooms, working on projects to improve business in Polk County.
“There is a general sense of excitement among Polk Countians, probably because there are exciting things happening in every corner of Polk County these days,” Roper said. “We, as a community, have a lot to offer, and we’re being noticed.”
He said he will be focusing on a two approaches to improving business in the county over the coming year, with continuing to attract new industrial partners to the area but also focusing on existing small businesses already here.
“I’d like to emphasize maintaining businesses that open in Polk County,” Roper said. “We love our industrial partners, obviously, they play an important role in what we do here. But our small business also plays an important role.”
Roper said that to further the overall goal in the coming year, he wants to offer a combination of training programs, tools and mentorships to help keep businesses from failing.
“We not only want to start new businesses, but we also want to help coach people to be able to keep these businesses open,” he said.
Roper is a graduate of Cedartown High School and a 2005 graduate of the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. He’s been a practicing attorney for nine years and runs his own firm in Cedartown.
Along with these three jobs, he’s also on or been on the Downtown Development Authority Board of Directors, the Downtown Cedartown Association Board of Directors, Little League of Cedartown Board of Directors, Covenant Christian School Board of Directors, the United Fund of Cedartown Board of Directors and served on the Polk County Strategic Planning Committee.
He said when he isn’t working, he spends time with his wife and children.
“We enjoy getting out on the Silver Comet Trail as much as we can,” Roper said. “ I also like to play guitar.”