He’ll take over as the Ward 1 representative on the Marietta City Council on Jan. 6 following a close election, decided by just one vote, unseating Councilwoman Annette Lewis.
It’s a ward that encompasses the southern tip of the city and is packed with new, young families, Fleming said.
They need a reason to stay in Cobb’s biggest city, he said, and Marietta needs to do a better job of attracting more of those families.
“Every 20 years, every generation, we need to make it relevant,” Fleming said.
Taking up issues like code enforcement, redevelopment and business relationships, Fleming argues, is the way to do just that.
“I think what really interests me is how we can continue to grow the city,” Fleming said.
A generation ago it’s unlikely that families would have chosen between living in Acworth, Marietta or Woodstock, he said, but that’s a conversation that is becoming more common.
Fleming says he identifies with that. An east Cobb native and graduate of The Walker School who left the county to join the U.S. Air Force and pursue his college education in England, he chose to return to his roots and make the city of Marietta his home.
He points to the Square as a top selling point for the city and said efforts underway to keep the area relevant have proven successful, like the farmers market and concert series.
Still, he said the city needs to continue on that path supporting a long-term vision for Marietta.
“I look forward to the day when we have public restrooms on the Square,” Fleming said.
His experience on the Marietta Board of Education, Fleming said, has prepared him for the procedural hurdles that come with government office.
“It’s done a good job in preparing me for the reality of public office,” Fleming said.
Marietta Schools Chairman Randy Weiner agrees.
“I think it could better prepare him to be on the City Council working with a body, a group of folks, for one common cause, to better the city, as our common cause was to better the school district,” Weiner said. “Hopefully, he can use his experiences on the school board to better collaborate with others for the city.”
Still, Fleming maintains his time on City Council isn’t a springboard into professional politics. He wants to make the city a better place for his children to grow up, Fleming said, and supports implementing term limits on the council.
“This is not my career,” Fleming said. “This is not my profession.”