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Three Questions With the Mayor: Development News, Conserving Willpower and the Toughest Part of the Job

Dacula Mayor Jimmy Wilbanks answers questions about our community.

In this week's "Three Questions With the Mayor," Dacula Mayor Jimmy Wilbanks provides an update on the latest city news and discusses the toughest part about being mayor.

Dacula Patch: What's new in Dacula this week?

Mayor Wilbanks: As Dacula Patch has reported, Gwinnett County agreed to settle the arbitration dispute with the City just prior to the Panel’s meeting. Now with that issue settled, the City is gathering the materials for the DRI and GRTA sessions on this project, and I expect the initial documentation to be submitted to the Atlanta Regional Commission this week. Joint meetings will be scheduled between the City, the owner, and ARC/GRTA after this initial submittal.

Dacula Patch: What is something Dacula residents need to know?

Mayor Wilbanks: The October 2012 issue of Wired magazine contains an article “Living By Numbers The Wired Guide to Health.” I subscribe to Wired primarily for the neat way they design their magazine. I like looking at the layouts, colors, and smart use of design for print. The authors and presenters also provide content with a little twist. I even borrow some of their ideas and designs for print materials as it helps spice up some of the boring materials I have to compose for print. I’m going to be sharing some of their 18 tips on health in this space. I’ll be asking your opinions. So if you can’t wait for the next topic, get thee to the library or store to procure your own copy. 

Tip 1: Conserve your willpower: It Runs Out. Have you ever noticed you need willpower to diet, but the authors argue that you need to eat to have willpower? The authors of this article in Wired suggest that you conserve the finite resource of willpower by limiting the number of resolutions you make that call on willpower to meet. They suggest giving willpower a rest. Say you are struggling with stopping smoking. You have not smoked in a week. Give willpower a rest by having a nice dinner as a reward. According to Wired, you will have conserved your willpower and can deploy more of it for the next time you want to smoke. Do you think willpower is a finite resource? Should you pace yourself when using willpower?

Dacula Patch: What is the toughest aspect of your job?

Mayor Wilbanks: The hardest part of being Mayor is saying “No.” Most requestors seem to think that the City has unlimited financial resources and legal power. Trying to get across why the answer is no is very difficult in most situations. No is the correct answer when doing what is asked is illegal. No is the correct answer if what is asked helps only the asker and is detrimental for the general population. But in other situations the reason for NO is less well defined. Right now I have a great, long email from a county-resident couple asking for help in reducing noise from railroad train horns. That brought to mind the hardest thing I ever have had to do as Mayor—tell a wife and her children that her husband and their father, and a City employee was not coming home because he had been killed in a truck/train accident in the line of City duty at the Broad Street Railroad crossing. This incident was nearly 40 years ago, but it comes to mind, very vividly, in situations like this. That experience and the vast legal liability that would fall on the City will help shape the answer to this current request.

What is the toughest aspect of your job? Let us know in the comments.

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