Tumlin delivered the address while standing in the same sanctuary where he and his family worship, First United Methodist Church.
He said he regretted he did not personally endorse seven $500,000 silent railroad crossings.
“I’ve changed my mind since, and I think they would be good for the city,” he said.
The $3.5 million crossings installed by CSX Transportation would have eliminated the need for train whistles, which start sounding when an approaching train is a half-mile away, by creating intersections cars cannot go around.
“I was part of the group that buffed it way down,” Tumlin said after the address, which he gave to the Marietta Kiwanis Club. “Now, looking back, I wish we’d have done them.”
Tumlin also lauded local police for keeping the community safe and free of tragedies like one that hit the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Praise for police
“Our police department, led by Chief Dan Flynn, is not only responsive but proactive,” he said. “When the tragedy at Newtown hit, our police immediately began interacting with our Marietta schools, not in a (public relations) way but in a meaningful way to assure safety and how to handle a crisis.”
Tumlin talked about 2005 and 2011 SPLOST projects that have been funded, started and/or completed without borrowing money.
“One cornerstone of our city is the continual revitalization of our infrastructure and creative projects,” he said.
In a 20-plus year span, the city will have spent more than $350 million to keep Marietta vibrant, he said. “(They are) great projects of preventive maintenance but without debt to minimize the chances of infrastructure failures.”
The mayor said his favorite project is the mountain-to-river multi-purpose trail from Kennesaw Mountain down Kennesaw Avenue.
Other highlights of 2012 included economic development with the recruitment of Talenti Gelato, a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market and parks funded by a 2009 bond issuance.
“The $26 million dollars has given us a very successful baseball facility at Aviation Park, with its public/private arrangement,” Tumlin said. “Custer Park has transformed from a mediocre baseball complex into a beautiful and league-sanctioned soccer complex capably managed by the YMCA.”
He also addressed the apparent lack of action surrounding a promised new or renovated Elizabeth Porter Recreation Center.
“There are great plans evolving in the Allgood Road/North Loop area where we will have first-class facilities in the near future. They’re awaiting the best plan,” Tumlin said.
Projects in 2013 are almost preordained, he said, based on the bond and the SPLOST.
“For other projects this summer, look for the Atherton Square renovation along McNeel Alley and the old depot, a multi-use trail along Powder Springs Street south to county services and much more,” Tumlin said.
Tumlin spoke to about 50 Kiwanians, city staff members and guests, including Cobb Chairman Tim Lee and Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews.
‘Jewel’ of Cobb County
After the meeting, Lee said Tumlin delivered an impressive list of assets.
“I’m glad to hear there are so many good things going on. I share his vision of this city of Marietta as an absolute, wonderful jewel and asset to the Cobb community,” Lee said.
Kiwanians like Rose Wing said the city is making good progress on its SPLOST agenda.
“It has definitely been an asset to our community. I look forward to the further improvements in the Franklin Road area and on the Powder Springs corridor. I like the things I’m hearing,” she said. “Time is on our side.”
Bill Via said the mayor, city and club have much in common.
“I really enjoy the affiliation and the relationship of belonging to a community and city like Marietta, a city that takes pride in what they do, trying to improve not only the environment but also the culture and the activities that are available here.”