Walnut Grove Mayor Lamar Lee has been in the public eye for 20 years.

He initially served on the Walton County Board of Education for four years and, at the urging of Don Cannon, the previous mayor, he ran for City Council. After 12 years on the council, he ran for mayor of Walnut Grove and has served for eight years.

“They talked me into running for council, Don did, and I stayed on there with him. He said that he carried me with him wherever he went and that I was going to be the next mayor,” Lee said.

Lee is not running for a third term as mayor. He is officially retiring, again. He retired from General Motors, where he worked for 30 years, only to go into public service.

“I had a stroke, which messed up my left side … and it’s hard for me to get around,” Lee said. “My wife said that I am going to retire this time.”

Looking back on his career as mayor, city councilman and board member, he has done a lot for the city of Walnut Grove. He was on the council when Walnut Grove High School opened.

“When I was on the school board, I said that I wanted a high school in Walnut Grove. They looked at me like I had two heads … and now look at what we got. We got one of the best high schools in the county,” Lee said.

Another major change he induced was the sewer plant. Due to the granite from Stone Mountain extending to Walnut Grove, it takes a long time for people to put in septic tanks. Lee knew he would need to defy all odds and get a sewer plant for the future of the city.

“That’s what I kept telling the other previous administration, ‘You got to have a sewer plant because if you don’t, the city is never going to make anything,’” Lee said.

Even though his political career is over, he still has hopes and plans for the future of Walnut Grove. More than anything, he wants a grocery store and shopping center in the city.

“We had a grocery chain look at us when I was still on council before I was mayor … well we didn’t have enough rooftops which is the way they figure it out and we didn’t have a sewer plant,” Lee said. “Now we got the rooftops and the sewer plant.”

Correspondent

University of Georgia student Grace Townsend is a correspondent for The Walton Tribune. She is a 2018 graduate of North Oconee High School.

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