Michael Dyson, former alderman for the city of Rollingwood, was appointed mayor Nov. 28. Dyson spoke with Community Impact Newspaper about his new position, some challenges the city faces, his goals to alleviate them and how his past experience will guide him.
What made you want to become the mayor of Rollingwood?
Over three years ago, I realized there was an availability on City Council. I’m a firm believer that it’s not just enough to live in a community; it’s also important to contribute. I found a way to contribute in a way I thought fit my skills. I didn’t anticipate being mayor, but I got a call from Mayor Roxanne [McKee] letting me know she was not intending to run again and asked if I would be interested. I felt really honored that folks would ask me how I felt about being mayor. Never in my life did I imagine that I would be a mayor of a great city like Rollingwood.
What challenges are you facing?
Communication is the biggest challenge. It’s easy to have an idea in our own heads of what makes sense and diffuse that idea to a small group, but when you start talking about making sure that communication is happening in the entire city, down to our boards and commissions, making sure everyone is pulling in the same direction is the biggest challenge. That communication can’t stop within our city; it has to happen to the public as well. It is very critical to let the public know that we are working on their concerns. We try to make sure that information efficiently and effectively travels.
What are some top issues for Rollingwood moving forward?
Those of us that live and work in Rollingwood, we know what Rollingwood is, but we haven’t spread that knowledge out as a community. That is a large part of what our recent brand and logo unveiling is about. I want to make sure that the surrounding areas understand and recognize Rollingwood as a pivotal city.
What have you learned from your time as an alderman that you will take into being mayor?
This job is not about what you as an individual want. It’s about what the community wants. It’s about what you can bring to the position you’re in to help achieve the needs and wants of the community.
Michael Dyson has several goals he wants to implement and continue during his term as mayor of Rollingwood.
Finalization of a city master plan
Infrastructure improvement plan implementation
Established community development
Availability of resources for city staff
Fiscal health and well-being of the city