Blakely elects first black mayor

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BLAKELY, Ga. (WTVY) -- After being led by the same mayor for the last 12 years the city of Blakely elected a new one.

Travis Wimbush becomes Blakely's first black mayor.

Travis Wimbush made city history by becoming the first black elected mayor of Blakely, but that's not his focal point.

"We acknowledge and we're appreciative of it but we do want people to be clear and understand that what we present in leadership is for all of Blakely to benefit all citizens and all of our decision making,” says Wimbush.

Now that he is in the seat he’s ready to make the follow through with the promises he made to Blakely.

A top concern for the new mayor is the lack of recreational programs for the youth in Early County.

“We don't have things such as public pools. We don't have a YMCA. We don't have any community centers.

His strategy to make it happen includes applying for grants and making new partnerships.

He predicts it will have a two-fold impact.

“We have found obesity to be a great concern as far as health-wise, so we want to be recreational as well as health-wise so that they can have fun and be healthy at the same,” says Wimbush.

Resolving another concern of Wimbush's involves community policing.

“Currently we don't have any neighborhood watch programs so, I personally look forward to work with the police chief and law enforcement that we can do more even if its establish citizen programs,” says Wimbush.

He also wants to reward those who help make Blakely a nice place to visit.

“We do have a great deal of our homeowners that take pride in their yards and programs such as a beautification award honoring them for taking pride and taking keeping their yards up,” says Wimbush.

He says he will continue initiatives starting by former mayor Anthony Howard like creating more affordable housing.

“I look forward to a smooth transition in working with him and all leaders and making a successful and smooth transition,” says Wimbush.

The new things he wants for the city is better communication, transparency and the voice of the community back in city hall.