Former Georgia Representative John White officially announced on Thursday night that he will be running in the race to become Albany's next mayor.
He says he has a vision for Albany to utilize its resources and return the Good Life City to its full potential.
White says he has a vision for more industry and business in Albany, and he says he wants the city to be friendly to young business professionals.
To find what industries best fit the area, he says he would work with the Chamber of Commerce and local colleges. He says he wants the skills that are taught at Albany's colleges to fit the industry that is brought to the area.
"They teach great skills and I've observed once these young people learn the skills, earn their degrees, many of them find other places to go," he says. "I just talked to some people, who said it was easier to just walk across the line to either of the counties north or south of us to start a business than it is to start it in albany. I said, 'We'll work to change that.'"
He says he not only wants to keep young professionals in the city, he wants to bring more visitors into the city from surrounding counties by beautifying areas such as the Riverfront District and Downtown Albany.
"I see an Albany that can host larger conventions than ever before with hotel space to accommodate those visitors, more restaurants to serve them and appropriate entertainment to entice the visitors to enjoy their time here," says White.
He also says the city of Albany has potential for projects that would help entice visitors, such as a second airline, a Ray Charles Museum and a hotel in the Heritage House.
"We can salvage that building which is of sound structure; it just needs another face on it. So I'm proposing that we assist the owner in helping to revive that building," says White. He suggests that with the plan he has for the Heritage House Hotel, the city would gain approximately 400 jobs.
White says people visit zoos more often than sporting events; therefore, he says he wants to "beef up and promote Chehaw."
"I'm excited about all of these things because I want to see this city be what I envision it can be," says White.
He says to help bring his vision to life, he will be able to utilize his resources and contacts not only in Washington, D.C., as well as France, Africa and Canada.
White says he will have more public meetings in the future to discuss details of his other project ideas, such as a restaurant he says is called "Ray's on the River."