Meet Rome's new commissioner Elaina Beeman

Elaina Beeman, 55, is the city’s newest commissioner and is set to be sworn in at the Jan. 10 commission meeting.

Elaina Beeman, Rome’s newly elected city commissioner, is set to be sworn in at the Jan. 10 regular meeting.

Beeman, 55, was born and raised in Rome and is a 1983 graduate of West Rome High School. In 1989, she graduated with a Bachelors degree from Jacksonville State University and an Associate’s Degree from Georgia Highlands College, formerly Floyd Junior College.

Beeman works for the Northwest Georgia Housing Authority as an education navigator and property management expert. She not only assists other property managers with getting tax credits, she also provides middle school and high school students with transportation to school, assigns tutors and helps with college FASFA forms among other things.

She became involved with the city in 2008 when she was appointed to the Rome-Floyd Planning Committee. Appointed by city commissioners, she spent five years listening to the concerns of Rome citizens and presenting solutions to the City Commission.

When her term ended in 2013, Beeman was elected to the Rome City School Board. Seeing a gap in education for students with learning disabilities, she spent eight years fighting to ensure these children were learning at the same rate as everyone else.

“I believe all children can be taught to learn,” Beeman said. “My goal was to make sure I could be an influence for all of the children.”

As her second term on the board was coming to a close, Beeman leaped at the opportunity to become a city commissioner. Because of her property management skills and passion for children to receive a quality education, Beeman believed she possessed the skills necessary to land the position.

“I give 110% no matter what I do,” Beeman said. “I thought I had so much I could contribute so I decided to stay in the arena and opportunities just kept growing and growing.”

She said she has the leadership qualities she believes will give her an immediate impact on the commission when she takes her seat in January. She is a Leadership Rome graduate, Leadership Georgia graduate, a former member of the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce board, former Director of Georgia School Board District 7 and an advisor for the Northwest Georgia Housing Authority Board.

Beeman wants to get the homeless off the street and into housing. She said that can’t start until the city offers mental health assistance to those individuals.

“It’s hard to get the homeless to apply for housing or stay in housing,” Beeman said. “They’re used to just surviving. We could give them housing or put them in a house, but who’s to say they’re going to stay in that house? Some people come and apply, it becomes overwhelming for them and then they’re gone within a week or two.”

She is also concerned with bringing in a larger workforce to the city. She said providing more affordable housing will help bring more employees to Rome.

“If we don’t have housing, we’re not going to have families or individuals wanting to migrate here,” Beeman said. “How do you create jobs when you don’t have individuals?”

Beeman is poised to prove her worth to the commission in January when she begins working to make her goals a reality for the citizens of Rome.

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