Meet the Candidates: Virginia Reagan
Learn more about the woman who's served 16 years on Austell's City Council.
Virginia Reagan is seeking the Ward 4 seat on the Austell City Council, which she has held for the last 16 years. She has lived in Austell since she was 10, and cannot imagine living anywhere else.
She wrote in a statement, “I have always loved Austell; it gets in your blood. You can go anywhere in the City and you will pretty much see someone you know. Austell is a big enough City, but yet small enough to know your neighbor.”
Reagan, who will be 76 in December, has suffered loss throughout her life and her commitment to the city of Austell has endured, she shared. She lost her first husband, Chester Morris, at the age of 34. In 2006, she lost her oldest son, Thomas, and three years later, her second husband, Gathel Reagan passed away as well.
On Her Experience
Before she joined the city council, Reagan said she was a graphic designer and supervisor at an advertising agency, although she had some difficulty remembering the name of the company.
While in office, Reagan was outspoken in support of the city, which went against the wishes of the county and nearby cities, which approved the Norfolk-Southern Railroad company's application to build an 850-acre intermodal facility in Austell in 1996.
After a long legal process and through mediation between the railroad company and Mayor Joe Jerkins, the city approved the permit and Norfolk-Southern agreed to fund the Austell Area Improvement Coalition, a charitable organization helping Austell citizens.
“Since the intermodal facility has been in existence since 2001, they have been great neighbors and stewards of the City,” Reagan wrote in a statement.
On Her Causes
- the county’s Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). She wrote in a statement, “The one percent funds received have assisted the City in the past by allowing us to complete and array of roadway, sidewalk, and drainage projects…Because of the voters’ approval, the 2012 will allow the City to continue to purchase much needed equipment for the Public Works, Police, and Fire Departments as well as allowing them to do needed projects within the City.”
- funding the elimination of the city’s two remaining wastewater pump stations. According to Reagan, the city had 13 when Jerkins first took office in 1989.
- the recent stormwater fee increase. “Funds received from the utility will help our Stormwater Division attain their goals of minimizing minor flooding and maintaining our stormwater structures, to name a few,” she wrote in a statement.
On Her Opponent, Lance Lamberton
Reagan commented on South Cobb Patch using the name “Morris” about domestic disputes involving Lance Lamberton, who is running against her for the Ward 4 City Council seat.
She said she wanted to let people know about the disputes “because I think he should’ve brought it out to start with and let the people decide whether they wanted that because it’s built on trust. This job’s built on trust.”
On Her Vision For Austell
Reagan stated, “When re-elected, I will continue to work with our Police Department to make our City a safe place to live, to do business, and visit.”
When asked how she intends to do this, she responded in a statement that, “When you have a Police Department as strong as ours there’s not much anyone would have to do.”
Included in her vision for Austell is a mixed-use development in the downtown area where residents can live, work and play. “There are many opportunities for the downtown area that the Austell Downtown Development Authority could pursue,” Reagan stated.
She said she would like to see balconies overlooking Veterans Memorial Highway.
“I know I’ll never get to see it probably,” she said.
When asked what she has done in her 16 years on the council to bring her vision to life, she told South Cobb Patch, “Like you said, I’ve been there 16 years…I’d just love to see it cleaned up more.”
“We can’t even get people to clean up, much less bring a vision to life,” she continued, adding that grant applications may be a solution for downtown Austell.
Her vision is not limited to Austell’s downtown area, but she would like to see a variety of shops throughout the city.
Improving downtown Austell is only one problem Reagan plans to address if elected. The impact of the flood of 2009 is still felt throughout Austell, Reagan explained. If elected, she stated that she will work to decrease the number of homes still located within the floodplain.
Reagan did not have specific solutions on how to deal with the existing problems caused by the flood of 2009, stating “only time will tell what the economy will do.”