Name: LuGina Brown

Office sought: Rome City Commission

Occupation: CEO, Strategic Property Management Inc, LLC

What qualities do you bring to the City Commission? Why are you seeking a seat?

I have experience in building a company from the ground up. My background is 25 years in telecommunications, 30 years in real estate investment, development and property management; worked with legislators to pass Joshua’s Law; networking skills as well as sales.

My business skills will be an asset to the board of commissioners. It should run like a business. The other skills will be an added bonus.

A 10 p.m. curfew is proposed to address the issue of young people wandering around aimlessly downtown. How would you like to see the problem handled?

The police department requested the 10 p.m. curfew. I believe in supporting our police force. They need this extra enforcement to do their job. As for downtown Rome, I prefer to see more police officers in the area. This would give everyone a greater sense of safety. We have business owners as well as homeowners that have their entire livelihood tied up in our downtown district. We must show them we will have their backs when it comes to safety.

The city got $11.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding and not all has been allocated. Where should the one-time boost be directed?

I am familiar with ARPA. Our commissioners have already started allocating these funds to areas most heavily impacted by Covid.

I would like to see us put a committee together to capitalize on the funds before the end of 2022. Even though we have until 2024, now would not be a time to drag your feet. Be the first to get it appropriated into the system. Utilize the funds to backfill things most impacted. We all know our restaurants, hotels, municipalities and many more have been devastated by the pandemic. The government’s responsibility is giving equal treatment to all categories. The most important part is getting the funds. Let the committee do the legwork to move faster. Our commissioners have the job of placing the money where it stabilizes the areas most in need.

In terms of annual general fund budgeting, what are your spending priorities?

I am a pragmatic and fiscally conservative person.

At this moment it appears our housing inventory is the driver. We desperately need more housing. Spending money to make money is key at this moment in time. We definitely need to help developers do large housing projects. While doing so, let’s make sure if the housing project is family oriented we incorporate a play area within the community for the children. I believe everyone in Rome would be grateful if we could grow out of high property taxes. That is my No. 1 mission. It can be done with strategic planning.

Is there a special project or vision for the city you want to promote on the Commission over the next four years?

My vision for our gem of a city is to create an experience when in Rome. We have three wonderful rivers. Let’s clean up the rivers and their banks. This would require a full time department. Let’s get lights on the trails so everyone feels safe and lights shining on the water at night. It wouldn’t hurt to have a police presence around the trails. Bare minimum cameras. I know everyone feels that cameras are an overreach. My company relied on them heavily. It’s the cheapest and most effective way to monitor things. You can’t argue about something that’s in black and white.

We rely heavily on tourism. Let’s give them what they are looking for. Beautiful town, with rivers that have adequate and pristine walking trails. As well as bike trails. While we are at it lets connect them all to the neighboring towns to give even greater access into our town.

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