LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – Mayor Jim Thornton will be inducted as president of the Georgia Municipal Association on August 8, 2021 in Savannah.

“The principal role of GMA is to advocate for local control and local autonomy for our cities at the state capital in Atlanta and also at the federal level,” said Thornton.

The GMA is made up of of representatives from all 537 cities in Georgia. It was originally founded by members from 56 cities, including LaGrange.

Thornton has served in various committee roles and on the GMA board of directors for 12 years. He will serve a one-year term as GMA president.

The goal of the organization is to maintain local control so each city can make decisions for itself and provide services like retirement benefits and insurance programs. GMA helps local governments navigate issues like the COVID-19 pandemic, youth and children, workforce development issues and equity inclusion. The association has come up with model ordinances and best practices for COVID-19 to keep people in Georgia safe.

“We’re the principal advocate for cities at the state capital in Atlanta. Every year when the general assembly meets the GMA is very active in making sure that the interest of all of our cities are protected,” said Thornton.

According to Thornton, GMA is also encouraging more involvement from police in the communities they serve. The association aims to provide all elected officials with the tools they need to make their cities the best it can be.

“My goal as GMA president is going to be to continue to inspire and and equip our local cities to do all they can for their residents,” said Thornton.