Statesboro Mayor Jan Moore Strives to Continue to Make History for Her Home Town
Monday, August 25th, 2014
Mayor Jan Moore became the first female city official ever to be elected in Statesboro by winning in a run-off election last December, but, in her mind, it’s what lies ahead for her and the city that is of more historical significance.
Moore says she finds herself in a unique position of responsibility for governing a unique town, recently named one of eight “Renaissance Cities” in Georgia by Georgia Trend magazine. She’s having to prove on-the-job that a woman can participate in government at a high level, setting agendas, earning respect and collaborating successfully with council members and others, all while making the city proud.
“Statesboro’s strategic geographical location—only an hour from the culture and port of Savannah; home to a major university (Georgia Southern); and, the site of a new world class shooting and archery range—there’s no place like Statesboro. I think we are a sophisticated college town that honors and lives our roots of hunting and agriculture.” The city, incidentally, has funded $500,000 to the university where the shooting range is located.
In the first six months of office, Moore has made noteworthy strides in her election campaign promises. This past January, the city of Statesboro Police Department joined the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Department to form a Crime Suppression Team. Moore reached out to Dr. Brooks Keel, president of Georgia Southern University and asked him to also provide officers from the Georgia Southern Police Department to aid in the effort. Keel has done that and now this unit is the first of its kind in the state to have university police participation.
In addition to a focus on curtailing crime around Georgia Southern, Moore cites marked improvement in the lines of communication between the city and the county, as well as between the city and the administration of Georgia Southern University.
More importantly, she wants to become the face of change as a new era of community development enhances the quality of life for city residents. A grass roots effort for the redevelopment of the main corridor into the city had begun prior to Moore’s election, but as a major tenet of Moore’s campaign platform, Moore has joined the effort and is striving to make Statesboro’s city government an integral part of the process.
Moore acknowledges that challenges remain, of course, and she received a “baptism of fire” recently when the City Council had to fire City Manager Frank Parker after he said, during a staff meeting in June, that he sometimes met in private with a quorum of council members—a violation of the Georgia Open Meetings Act.
Moore recommended that the council ask Municipal Court Judge Keith Barber to appoint an attorney with no ties to the city to conduct an investigation as to whether Parker's comments had any merit. The vote was unanimous.
"Council has basically determined to investigate themselves," Moore said. "I take open meetings very seriously, and I think our council takes open meetings very seriously, and to toss out that that is not necessarily something that we take seriously, and that it happens on a regular basis in violation of Georgia open meetings law got us here today."
Moore says she is determined to run Statesboro as a mayor who does the right thing and who goes about the processes of the city’s business with integrity, regardless of what the process yields, as in the above situation. As a city native and graduate of Statesboro High School, who previously was the business editor for a local newspaper, and who serves as Dean of Students at Ogeechee Technical College, Jan Moore is a mayor with an educational background and real world experience, well-prepared to handle the special challenges that future history will present.
You may contact Mayor Moore by email: [email protected]