BOLIVAR, Tenn. — It's a new era for the town of Bolivar, Tennessee. Recently voters elected the youngest and the first African-American as mayor of the city.
"It's my obligation as elected official to go out talk them and help them out. I made a pledge, I'm excited."
Julian McTizic is ready to get down to the business of running the city of Bolivar.
"I am honored to serve and privileged and I'm grateful for the opportunity."
The mayor-elect was born and raised in Bolivar. He ran for and won a city council seat four years ago and says his motivation to run for mayor was to make his city better.
"When I served as a councilman, I felt our current administration wasn't providing for our citizens," he said.
The mayor-elect talked about his plans to repair and clean up city streets.
"Just giving back to the citizens and just simple-minded government, taking care of the streets, cleaning up right of ways and picking up litter and trash."
The 30-year-old is the first African-American elected mayor in the city's 191-year history. He admits race was an issue for some during the campaign, but it was not a deciding factor on election night.
"Those votes that I got, that 53 percent margin, that wasn't all black people, that wasn't all white people — that was citizens that were concerned about Bolivar and trying to make it a better place."
Bolivar is special to McTizic. He and his wife of nine years are raising their two sons here, and the McTizic family has a long history in Hardeman County. His grandfather was a county commissioner, and his father is a bolivar police officer.
"Every community has it's problems, but I'm proud of Bolivar, and this is a first for us but it shows you what type of people we have here in this community."
McTizic is the CEO of an insurance and investment company. He says he's appreciative of the people who have invested in him and he's prepared to prove there are dividends.
"Tell me as a citizen what you guys want, what they need and how we can provide, that's what I want to focus on."
The mayor-elect says fighting crime, bringing more jobs to the area and good schools are obvious things to work on, but he says getting the citizens involved is key in making Bolivar a better place to live.
McTizic will be sworn in in June.