Kim Dupree Billue, mayor of White, was elected the new District 1 Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) president at a virtual meeting last week.
“I didn’t get the opportunity to serve as vice president,” Billue told The Daily Tribune News. “So I went from second vice president straight to president.”
As the president of the district, Billue will also sit on the GMA board of directors.
“She will attend GMA-sponsored events, including the association’s annual convention, promote engagement in GMA activities and programs with other cities in the district, advocate for GMA’s legislative priorities and share with GMA staff any needs and concerns of member cities in their district,” GMA representative Kelli Bennett wrote in a press release.
The GMA district covers a large swath of northwest Georgia, encompassing Bartow, Floyd, Gordon, Paulding and Polk, among other counties.
“It’s really a great honor,” Billue said. “Of course, I think it’s a privilege to serve and represent our small town and to be on the board with all these large municipalities, I’m kind of awestruck … and here little White is, in the midst of all of that.”
As a nonprofit representing well over 500 cities throughout the state, the GMA has long been a legislative lobbying powerhouse under the Gold Dome in Atlanta.
“I know they were really pushing for the home rule, and for that bill that they were trying to stop from going through about each individual municipality deciding the aesthetics,” White said, referencing two defeated bills — House Bill 302 and Senate Bill 172 — which would have preempted local design standards in zoning ordinances.
Heading into 2021, Billue said public safety reform is also a major priority for the GMA.
“Just like being mayor for the City of White, I want to do the best possible job that I can,” Billue said of the new position. “And represent the district with honor, just like I do my city.”