U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., told representatives from downtowns across the state on Thursday he was a big fan of their work.
“I’m familiar with what you do because of the downtown where I live in Marietta and what they’ve done,” he said.
The senator, speaking at the annual conference on a break from Washinton, D.C., said he wanted downtowns to have a great partnership with the government, which often fund grants and other programs to aid in redevelopment.
In his stump speech, however, he warned that there would have to be some serious belt-tightening in the coming months to get past the economic crisis.
“We all have to be goal-setters and prioritize,” he said. The government needs to start doing what families have been doing for years – sitting down and deciding what the most important things are to spend money on.
“If we can just tighten our belts, our problems will be solved,” he said.
Unlike some politicians, however, Isakson – elected in 2004 – was willing to spread the blame around for the economic situation.
“It took an equal opportunity, bi-partisan effort to get us into this mess and it’s going to take an equal opportunity, bi-partisan effort to get us out of it,” he said.
Isakson was the keynote speaker at the 2012 Georgia Downtown Conference, which LaGrange hosted this year. More than 250 representatives from around the state and dozens of vendors filled Del’Avant all week for the event that ends today.