The traditional conservative values of the city of Carrollton will be tested with the newest member of City Council. In a runoff election on Tuesday, March 29, Rory Wojcik defeated Wes Phillips with 299 votes to 233, earning him the official title of Carrollton’s Ward 2 representative. Wojcik’s platform emphasized Carrollton’s parks and arts programs, improving public transit and beautifying lesser-industrialized parts of the city.
Wojcik has attended city council and mayor meetings periodically the last six years and took a special interest in issues including pedestrian safety, traffic calming and city planning. When a vacancy opened up in October 2015 for the Ward 2 City Council seat, becoming a representative seemed like a natural step toward Wojcik’s ultimate goal of creating the best community for his family and friends.
“My friends and family would already ask me to voice their opinions at meetings so I thought ‘what better way to represent the voices of the citizens than being the representative?’” said Wojcik.
Wojcik began his campaign for the Ward 2 seat by attending board meetings and civic group meetings. He also organized one-on-one meetings with some of Carrollton’s key constituents and city officials in an effort to better understand the city’s current issues.
After building a solid foundation of understanding and developing his own ideas for improving the city, Wojcik coordinated with campaign volunteers to outline a strategic plan.
“We had a great group of supporters that were able to disperse information of the campaign to their neighbors,” expressed Wojcik. “I knocked on probably 1,000 doors and had a great social media presence throughout the campaign.”
A native of Dublin, Ireland, Wojcik’s family immigrated to the U.S. in 1996. After spending a few years in Marietta, Ga., his family continued its journey to Carrollton, where Wojcik graduated from Carrollton High School and later the University of West Georgia with bachelor’s in Sociology.
Wojcik has worked at UWG in various capacities for the past decade and is currently the Assistant Director of Event Production for University Communications and Marketing. He notes successful partnerships play an important role in the university’s strategic plan and wants to work to continue the collaborative efforts between the university and city of Carrollton.
“Building a partnership between the city and the university through open dialogue, meaningful and deliberate comprehensive planning is paramount to ensure sustainable growth and mutually beneficial collaboration,” said Wojcik. “From a city perspective, we want to accommodate and encourage quality university growth.”
Wojcik was outspoken during the campaign about the importance of encouraging growth in Carrollton’s community parks and arts programs to help the community flourish.
“Without quality of life additions, nothing sets our city apart,” asserted Wojcik. “Our city has one of the best parks programs in our area. I would love to see more focus on quality arts programs to embrace the diverse arts scene.”
Tying his enthusiasm for parks in with his efforts to remain active on social media, Wojcik uploaded a video to his “Rory Wojcik – City Council” Facebook page on March 17 of him speaking at Legends West Park on Willie North Road in Carrollton. The park is currently under construction and Wojcik used the video to highlight the park’s newly completed recreation center and stage, which could be used for plays or small concerts and will be a great asset in his goal of advancing local arts programs.
Another point Wojcik emphasized for building a better community is increasing alternative modes of transportation. He believes addressing the needs of the community through shuttle services and bike-sharing programs will help ensure citizens of Carrollton have access to not only their basic needs, but also entertainment.
“Not owning a car should not be a barrier to the local grocery store, library or downtown square,” said Wojcik. “Public transportation is not a profit generating venture – it is a public service to our elderly, disabled and other citizens without automobiles.”
Wojcik’s campaign also focused on the Bankhead Highway Revitalization Project. The stretch of Bankhead Highway from Northside Drive to Adamson Square serves as the primary entrance to the city of Carrollton, but Wojcik believes the current impression the area leaves on visitors does not accurately represent the Carrollton community.
“Bankhead Highway has become blighted and needs city focus,” said Wojcik. “Streetscapes, beautifications, sidewalks and bike lanes coupled with business incentives and sign ordinances will allow for deliberate and sustainable economic growth. This will allow for a true entrance corridor to showcase our community, create jobs and ensure quality local business growth in the long term.”
Wojcik is set to be officially sworn in at the City Council meeting on Monday, April 11.