Teresa Tomlinson

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Teresa Pike Tomlinson
Mayor Teresa Tomlinson Official Photo.jpg
69th Mayor of Columbus, Georgia
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by Jim Wetherington
Personal details
Born (1965-02-19) February 19, 1965 (age 52)
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Political party Independent
Residence Columbus, Georgia
Alma mater Chamblee High School
Sweet Briar College
Emory University School of Law
Website Official website

Teresa Tomlinson was elected as the 69th Mayor of Columbus, Georgia on November 30, 2010 with 68% of the vote.[1][2] On January 3, 2011, she was sworn in as the city's first female mayor.[3]

On May 20, 2014 she was re-elected to a second term with 63% of the vote, making her the first Mayor since the city's consolidation in 1971 to win re-election in a contested race.[4]

Mayor Tomlinson was urged to run for statewide office, specifically the Office of the Governor, in Georgia’s 2018 election cycle, but declined to do so.[5][6] She has indicated interest in running for higher office in either the 2020 or 2022 election cycle.[7][8]


Tomlinson has five times been named to Georgia Trend's 100 Most Influential Georgians[9] and she holds a National Security Secret Clearance with the Department of Defense.[10]

During her tenure Columbus, Georgia, was named one of the 2016 top fifty Best-Run Cities in America.[11] Her administration reduced crime by 33% from its height in 2009, including a 34% drop in property crime and a 17% drop in violent crime.[12][13][14] Under her leadership, the Columbus Consolidated Government balanced the budget for the first time in 16 years using no reserve funds[15][16] and provided city and county services at the prudent cost of $1,300 per person.[17] Tomlinson instituted reform in the city’s pension plan, saving taxpayers some $39 million and increasing funding of the General Government plan to over 90%, while preserving the valuable Defined Benefit Plan for Employees.[18][19][20][21]Reform was also instituted at the Muscogee County Prison with the Rapid Resolution Initiative, which expedited the disposition of unindicted inmates at the Muscogee County Jail.[22][23][24] Columbus was recognized with a Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government Bright Ideas Award, for the Save-A-Pet Plan which reduced the animal euthanasia rate from 80% in 2010 to 20% in 2016 and increased adoption by triple digits.[25] Tax Allocation Districts were adopted to encourage the revitalization of previously blighted areas, including City Village and the Liberty District.[26][27][28] New biking/walking trails were constructed, known as the Dragonfly Trails, to create 60 miles of connected trails throughout the city, including trails and streetscapes in previously blighted areas.[29] Over 2 miles of the Chattahoochee River were returned to its natural state, creating the world’s longest Whitewater Course in an urban setting.[30] Tomlinson has overseen the renaissance of the city’s downtown creating a bustling dining/entertainment district, known as Uptown.[31][32] Tomlinson has provided constituents with direct access to their mayor through quarterly forums called Let’s Talk with the Mayor and social media.[33]

Sweet Briar College[edit]

In 2015, after the startling announcement of the potential closure of her undergraduate alma mater, Sweet Briar College in Virginia, Mayor Tomlinson joined with thousands of alumnae across the nation to raise $28.5 million in 110 days and convert over $12 million of that to cash in 70 days in order to fulfill the terms of a court approved settlement, which saved the college and kept the doors open, where it thrives today.[34] She was a primary witness in the court case that was successful before the Virginia Supreme Court and was involved in discussions with the Virginia Attorney General’s Office regarding the saving of the college.[35] Mayor Tomlinson delivered the 2015 Commencement Speech, thought to be the College’s last; but, instead, the speech became an endorsement for liberal arts education, an indictment of the failed leadership of the past and a rallying point for the effort to save the college.[36][37] Mayor Tomlinson led the Presidential search Committee, which selected Meredith Woo as the 13th President of Sweet Briar College.[38][39] Mayor Tomlinson is currently the Chairwomen of the Board of Directors of Sweet Briar College.[40]

Early Life & Education[edit]

Mayor Teresa Tomlinson moved to Columbus in 1994 from Atlanta and married Wade H. (Trip) Tomlinson, who was raised in Columbus.[41][42][43] For 16 years she practiced with the law firm of Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison and Norwood, LLC, where she specialized in complex litigation and was the firm's first female partner.[44] She served from 2006-2010 as Executive Director of MidTown, Inc., a non-profit community renewal organization.[45] Mayor Tomlinson is a 1983 graduate of Chamblee High School in Atlanta, Georgia (where she was inducted into the Chamblee High School Hall of Fame in 2015), a 1987 graduate of Sweet Briar College, in Virginia (where she was a 2011 Distinguished Alumnae),[46] and a 1991 graduate of Emory University School of Law, in Atlanta.


Published Editorials[edit]


  1. ^ "Columbus runoff results, Tomlinson wins mayor's race". Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  2. ^ "Columbus mayor offers advice to women seeking success". The Newnan Times-Herald. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  3. ^ "Mayor Tomlinson is guest speaker for Women’s Equality Day". ledger-enquirer. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  4. ^ "Tomlinson wins reelection with 62 percent of vote". ledger-enquirer. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  5. ^ "Mayor Teresa Tomlinson sets sights on a 2020 U.S. Senate run". ledger-enquirer. Retrieved 2017-05-12. 
  6. ^ Singleton, Mikhaela (2017-05-10). "Mayor Tomlinson announces possible plans to run for Senate, higher office". WRBL. Retrieved 2017-05-12. 
  7. ^ "Mayor Teresa Tomlinson sets sights on a 2020 U.S. Senate run". ledger-enquirer. Retrieved 2017-05-12. 
  8. ^ Singleton, Mikhaela (2017-05-10). "Mayor Tomlinson announces possible plans to run for Senate, higher office". WRBL. Retrieved 2017-05-12. 
  9. ^ "100 Most Influential Georgians of 2017: Wielding Power - Georgia Trend". www.georgiatrend.com. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  10. ^ "About Teresa | Columbus, Georgia Consolidated Government". columbusga.org. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  11. ^ "Columbus in top third of nation’s ‘best-run’ cities, website reports". ledger-enquirer. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  12. ^ "Mayor Teresa Tomlinson in 'audacious' speech: ‘We are remaking this city’". ledger-enquirer. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  13. ^ Singleton, Mikhaela (2017-01-30). "Columbus reports lowest crime rates in more than a decade". WRBL. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  14. ^ "2017 State of the City" (PDF). 
  15. ^ "Mayor Tomlinson recommends leaner budget for 2018; unveils major changes". ledger-enquirer. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  16. ^ "FY 18 Budget Letter" (PDF). 
  17. ^ "Columbus in top third of nation’s ‘best-run’ cities, website reports". ledger-enquirer. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  18. ^ "FY 18 Budget Letter" (PDF). 
  19. ^ "FY 18 Budget Letter" (PDF). 
  20. ^ "Mayor Tomlinson recommends leaner budget for 2018; unveils major changes". ledger-enquirer. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  21. ^ wrbljoeyripley (2016-05-09). "Mayor says pension reform paying off, how changes affect city workers". WRBL. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  22. ^ "Council votes to overturn prison lieutenant's rehire". Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  23. ^ "Plan aims at moving criminal cases, reducing jail population". ledger-enquirer. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  24. ^ "'Rapid Resolution' has paid rapid dividends for city". ledger-enquirer. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  25. ^ "Columbus Georgia’s Animal Care Center’s Save-A-Pet Program Recognized as 2017 Harvard Ash Center Bright Idea in Government". WLTZ. 2017-01-19. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  26. ^ "TAD referendum breezes to victory". ledger-enquirer. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  27. ^ "City proposing two new TADs for Midtown redevelopment". ledger-enquirer. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  28. ^ "TAD referendum breezes to victory". ledger-enquirer. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  29. ^ "Richard Bishop hired to develop The Dragonfly trail system in Columbus". ledger-enquirer. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  30. ^ "U.S. Largest Urban Whitewater Course Opens in Columbus". Georgia Public Broadcasting. 2013-06-03. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  31. ^ "Columbus: Roaring Ahead - Georgia Trend". www.georgiatrend.com. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  32. ^ "Columbus: Gearing Up - Georgia Trend". www.georgiatrend.com. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  33. ^ Team, WTVM Web. "Columbus kicks off ‘LET’S TALK!... with the Mayor’ forums". Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  34. ^ "Alumnae vowed to save Sweet Briar from closing last year. And they did.". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  35. ^ Team, WTVM Web. "Mayor Teresa Tomlinson testifies over Sweet Briar College closing". Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  36. ^ "A commencement speech that challenges Sweet Briar’s leaders to reverse course". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  37. ^ "Sweet Briar College Commencement Address". American Rhetoric. May 17, 2015. 
  38. ^ cmaadmin (2017-05-08). "Woo Ushering in New Era at Sweet Briar College". Diverse. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  39. ^ BOARD, THE EDITORIAL. "Sweet Briar Shoots for the Moon". NewsAdvance.com. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  40. ^ College, Sweet Briar. "Sweet Briar College | President's Office | Board of Directors". sbc.edu. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  41. ^ "Mayor-Elect Teresa Tomlinson gets up close and personal". Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  42. ^ "Wade H. Tomlinson". 
  43. ^ "Wade H. Tomlinson | Pope Mcglamry". Pope Mcglamry. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  44. ^ Communications, Emmis (2017-05-10). Atlanta Magazine. Emmis Communications. 
  45. ^ "Georgia Trial Attorney Named Executive Director of MidTown, Inc.". PRWeb. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  46. ^ "Mayor Tomlinson receives distinguished alumna award". WLTZ. 2012-06-08. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  47. ^ Matthew Chan (2013-09-16), Columbus GA Mayor Teresa Tomlinson: Homelessness Solutions, retrieved 2017-09-03 
  48. ^ Matthew Chan (2015-01-21), Mayor Teresa Tomlinson: 2015 State of the City Address, retrieved 2017-09-03 
  49. ^ MayorTeresaTomlinson (2015-05-16), Mayor Teresa Tomlinson’s Sweet Briar College Commencement Speech 2015, retrieved 2017-09-05 
  50. ^ MayorTeresaTomlinson (2017-03-23), Mayor Teresa Tomlinson - Women of Courage Speech, retrieved 2017-09-03 
  51. ^ Tomlinson, Teresa (2017-06-11). "The Kind of Democrat Who Can Win in the South—or Anywhere". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2017-09-05. 
  52. ^ Tomlinson, Teresa (2017-06-30). "Why the Republican Brand Is So Strong Where I Live". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2017-09-05. 
  53. ^ Tomlinson, Teresa (2017-08-21). "The Conservative Plan to Rewrite the Constitution, and Yes, It’s a Thing". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2017-09-05. 
  54. ^ "From the Atlanta Journal Constitution, 2017-08-12: Generals are playing vital civilian role now". Retrieved 2017-09-05. 
  55. ^ "Teresa Pike Tomlinson - Sweet Briar College Commencement Speech". www.americanrhetoric.com. Retrieved 2017-09-05. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Jim Wetherington
Mayor of Columbus, Georgia
Succeeded by