The city of Valdosta is one of nine recipients of the 2019 Live, Work, Play Award given by the Georgia Municipal Association and Georgia Trend. The city and its eight counterparts were recognized Sunday at the GMA's annual Mayor's Day conference.
Valdosta was highlighted for constantly restoring its downtown and continuing to move forward in all things Live, Work, Play. Judges noted the city has done a successful job with historic tax credits, creating industry jobs, and employment opportunities. Judges also credited the city’s collaboration efforts and schools.
“We feel honored to have received this award that recognizes our efforts in revitalizing our historic downtown, promoting strong local government, and a thriving workforce community. Valdosta has something for everyone from children to retirees, it’s truly a special place,” said Mark Barber, City Manager “This award is a testament to our amazing community and all of the organizations, business, and people who make it such a great place to work and call home. I want to thank GMA and Georgia Trend for recognizing Valdosta, A City Without Limits.”
The nine cities were awarded based on three population categories—small (population under 4,999), Medium (5,000-24,999) and Large (more than 25,000). These cities will be featured in the February 2019 issue of Georgia Trend.
Recipients of the 2019 Live, Work, Play Cities Award:
Small City Category
Medium City Category
Large City Category
“The Live, Work, Play concept has been an increasingly popular trend for cities. We feel honored to be awarded for our efforts here in Valdosta to provide citizens with jobs, and opportunities to enjoy their off time,” said Mayor John Gayle “This award gives us the opportunity to showcase what Valdosta has to offer businesses, visitors, and future residents. To be recognized with eight other cities from our great state who are making strides towards the same goals as we are is such an honor for us.”
Though each city provides different services, contest judges praised the winning cities for their success in advancing job creation, housing offerings, and recreational amenities. Judges for the 2019 Live, Work, Play Cities Award represented Georgia Power’s office of Community & Economic Impact, the Department of Community Affairs, the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government and the Georgia Council for the Arts. In addition to being recognized during GMA’s Mayors’ Day, winning cities will be highlighted in the association’s monthly newspaper, Georgia’s Cities.
“These nine cities truly embody well-rounded communities that benefit residents and businesses alike,” said GMA Executive Director Larry Hanson. “They also serve as examples for local governments across Georgia. Officials in these cities have demonstrated advanced problem-solving, exceptional management and teamwork to increase the overall quality of life for all residents. GMA is honored to serve all of our member cities and especially proud of these award recipients.”
Based in Atlanta, GMA is a voluntary, non-profit organization that provides legislative advocacy, research, training, employee benefit, and technical consulting services to its 538 member cities.