As eight mayors have come and gone at Warner Robins City Hall they've always sat next to the same person at meetings, City Attorney Jim Elliott.
This week, he was unanimously approved for a 33rd term and we asked what he's proudest of during his tenure.
“I was sort of a pioneer, Warner Robins was a pretty small city -- was one of the smallest cities to have a full-time city attorney, so a lot of people thought that was an extravagance or a silly notion. And what's curious is 33 years later there's a number of communities even smaller than ours that have decided to do that,” Elliott said in his office Wednesday.
Mayor Ralph Johnson created the position in 1985, since then it's been Elliott's job and he says his office has had a hand in nearly every city law, resolution and ordinance for three decades.
But working with all those different mayors hasn't always been easy.
“He [a former mayor] wanted to know at every given moment where every given department head and appointed official was and one day I was gone to a medical appointment and didn't let the mayor know I was going to be out and he got really upset and threatened he was going to send me home on suspension,” Elliott said with a laugh.
When we asked who it was, Elliott showed why's been able to keep the job for so long.
“No, no, I'll just let bygones be bygones, but it was pretty funny,” he continued laughing.
Then last year, after a unanimous nominating resolution from mayor and council, Elliott won a spot in the Georgia Municipal Association Hall of Fame.
“I think for your hometown folks to sort of give you a nod of approval, that was quite an accolade to me,” Elliott said.
Elliott does other things besides his day job as city attorney. He teaches at Mercer, conducts training courses for the Georgia Municipal Association and other odd jobs for counties and cities in Georgia.
He was born in Macon but has spent his whole life in Warner Robins. He went to Georgia Tech for college and graduated from Mercer Law in 1982. Elliott practiced general law privately before becoming the city’s attorney.
Elliott said it’s been fun and interesting to watch the City he grew up in grow so much over his tenure. He says it grew nearly 150 percent in land size since he’s been Warner Robins attorney.
And even though he acknowledges the mistakes he’s made in 33 years, he says the key to his success is remembering that he works for the city and its people, not elected officials.
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