Loganville City Council candidate Rosa Steele was introduced to the city in 2008, when her daughter and grandchildren moved to the area.
“I fell in love with the small town charm Loganville had,” Steele said. She became a permanent resident in 2016.
The Walton Tribune caught up with Steele, a political newcomer, last Thursday.
Steele said she decided to run for city council because she was tired of waiting for elected officials to do what they were elected to do.
She maintains residents she has spoken to don’t think current city leaders genuinely listen to their concerns and have not done enough to improve their quality of life.
Steele recalled that she came up against city hall when she was living in The Village. She and other residents in the active senior community requested that a traffic light or sign that restricts left hand turns certain hours of the day be installed at Tommy Lee Fuller and Highway 20.
The group’s request was denied without explanation, according to Steele.
Steele said one of her goals is to give citizens back their voice. She said residents don’t realize the power they have.
“I try to tell them, ‘You own that seat,’” Steele said.
As for development, Steele said she would work on traffic issues and attracting the right types of businesses to the city.
“Loganville doesn’t have any trouble attracting businesses,” she said. “Look around.”
Steele said if elected she would collaborate with city leaders, the Chamber of Commerce and the county on downtown development.
“Main Street is supposed to reflect the town as a whole,” she said. “That downtown is a letdown. It’s serving no purpose for the residents of Loganville.”
Another of Steele’s goals would be to bring in more qualified police officers. She would like the city to offer public safety personnel competitive salaries commensurate with what surrounding communities pay their officers. Steele doesn’t want to see local officers having to take on additional jobs just to support their families.
In addition to incentives being offered now, Steele said Loganville police also should receive the most up-to-date and comprehensive training possible to ensure the protection of officers and the citizens they serve.
Steele, who is retired, spent 14 years as a Georgia state government employee. She worked in the Department of Driver Services and in the Medical Assistance Plans division that oversees Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids. Steele was also a small business owner until the recession prompted her to accept employment with various architectural and engineering firms.
“I was a construction coordinator,” she said. “I was the face for the firms if someone (a vendor) wanted to get in the door.”