Foulk works to serve, improve Euharlee
by Jason Lowrey
Feb 11, 2013 | 1938 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kathy Foulk is Euharlee’s mayor. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Kathy Foulk is Euharlee’s mayor. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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For Kathy Foulk, being Euharlee’s mayor for the past eight years has been an opportunity to serve, and improve, the community.

“I have always had a strong sense of community involvement. I felt as one of our leaders, I could help move the city forward with a view of new and fresh ideas,” she said.

Among the ideas put forward during her term was a Community Master Plan, which calls for the development of additional business areas, sidewalks, parking and streetlights in Euharlee’s downtown along Covered Bridge Road. The renovation of the Lowry Mill and construction of an amphitheater are included in the plan as well. They are improvements that Foulk hopes will help Euharlee grow while still maintaining the city’s small town atmosphere.

In addition to serving as Euharlee’s mayor, Foulk also is involved with Relay for Life. She organized her own team, Sleepless for Survivors, to participate in the relay and raise money for breast cancer research.

“We need to raise as much money to get rid of this horrible disease as we can,” she said during the 2012 Relay for Life. “A lot of money goes to the Hope House, the Hope Center, it helps out people that are going through cancer that just need an extra oomph with something. Part of the money stays local, part of it goes for research and we need what stays local.”

Name: Kathy S. Foulk

Age: 62

City of residence: Euharlee

Occupation: Mayor, City of Euharlee

Family: I have been married to my husband, Chris, for 23 years. We have two daughters, Sharon Vidrine, who resides in Ville Platte, La.; and Brandy Schall Headrick, who lives just outside of Euharlee. We have five grandchildren, Tristan and Kennedy Vidrine, and Colby, Brady and Lakelynn Henson. Fifteen-year-old Kennedy also lives with us.

Education: Graduated Lebanon High School, Lebanon, Ohio

With the construction of Joe Cowan Park and the acquisition of additional land for conservation, Euharlee has increased its focus on recreation and conservation. Why has the city council made these two issues a priority?

A: I wouldn’t say that we have necessarily increased our focus on recreation and conservation. We have always had recreation, conservation and historic preservation as the main priorities for the city. We are implementing the tools to make that vision a reality. The Etowah River and Euharlee Creek meet within our borders. Early on, we began to establish and maintain relationships with organizations that promote ecology, conservation, and preservation of our waterways.

In addition, we have Osborne Park as a recreational facility for use with local and regional sports organizations. Our long-term goal is to continue with that trend. We are continually looking for ways to initiate smart, managed growth. We are all in agreement that we would like to expand on the idea of smart managed growth, and encourage local and regional tourism as a tool for economic development. This helps to fund City programs and keep taxes down.

In addition to renovating the Lowry Mill and adding an amphitheater, the 20-year plan calls for a shopping center, sidewalks and other improvements to Euharlee’s downtown. Do you believe the plan, or any additional growth, could change the closely knit, small town atmosphere Euharlee enjoys?

A: I certainly hope not. I think of Euharlee as Mayberry. Our residents appreciate the fact that we are off the beaten path. Part of the reason we established the Community Master Plan was to ensure that we did not veer from the traditional vision of our founding fathers. We want to have that small town atmosphere and provide avenues for walkability, connectivity, economic development and tourism for our downtown area.

Are there any additional goals you would like to accomplish?

A: Small towns are a very big challenge because of limited funding. I want to ensure that we don’t have to increase taxes on our residents in the short term to accomplish our goals. We are on the right path at the present time, and have made major strides over the past several years to set a great foundation for the future. More than anything, I would like to see us working toward fulfilling the goals that are outlined in our Community Master Plan.

What has been the most difficult decision you have made as mayor?

A: The difficult decisions for the city are not made by the mayor, but voted on by the city council. I only vote in the case of a tie. It’s the council that has to make the tough decisions.

Do you see yourself running for another term?

A: I have learned firsthand how life can take you on detour, off that smooth highway you are traveling. Fall seems to be a short time away, but in that short time, many things can happen. At this time, I can’t say if I will be seeking another term.

What would people be most surprised to learn about you?

A: My career has mostly been in the hospitality industry. While working in a supervisory position at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn., I was also working with friends develop a new concept for a restaurant in Marietta. In 1984 we moved to Woodstock so I could be a manager at that concept, G. Golly Molly’s on Cobb Parkway.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

A: I think my biggest achievement is winning my fight with breast cancer. Not only is it a very humbling disease, but it gives you a new perspective on life. I am fortunate to be blessed with a strong, loving, supportive family and a multitude of great friends. A warped sense of humor didn’t hurt, either.

If you were to write your memoirs or autobiography, what would the title be?

A: If I was to ever write a book, it would be titled “I’m Putting My Foot Down,” a look at the lighter side of life. When my husband, Chris, overheard a conversation discussing if I had made up my mind to run for mayor, his immediate response was “I’m putting my foot down, you are not running for mayor!” At that point, I knew I was in the race, with Chris’s support all the way.

Do you have a personal motto?

A: My personal motto is: Live your life in such a way that if anyone says anything bad about you, no one will believe it. I find this works quite well for me.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

A: The best advice I have ever been given was how to keep your life in perspective, always remember, God first, then family, then your job. If you do that, everything else will fall into place.