TIFTON - Tifton City Manager Charles Howell was named to the Georgia Municipal Association's Hall of Fame Monday during the organization's annual convention.

The GMA, a non-profit association representing 485 municipal governments, inducts officials into the Hall of Fame who "exemplify the very best in public service, and who, throughout their career, have made extraordinary contributions to their City and community." Howell, one of four to receive the honor, was nominated by Vice Mayor Joe Lewis.

"Charlie Howell has reflected extremely well for our city through a period of remarkable and unprecedented growth," said Mayor Paul Johnson, a director on the GMA board. "Hiring Charlie as city manager was one of the best decisions ever made by the Tifton City Council. I cannot say enough good things about the job he continues to do for our City.

"Tifton is a better place because Charlie Howell came our way. His influence, compassion, leadership and abilities are evident throughout the Tifton community."

Howell played football at the University of Georgia before beginning his career in local government 39 years ago. He held positions ranging from transportation planner with the Chatham-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission, executive director of the Middle Georgia Area Planning and Development Commission and chief administrative officer of the City of Macon.

Before coming to Tifton in 1996, Howell was the city manager of Lake City, Fla. He also served as a transportation planner for the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Commission early in his career.

Howell served as president of the Georgia City-County Management Association, Intergovernmental Relations Committee and was a member of the GMA Board of Directors as well as other GMA committees on annexation and telecommunications. He is a member of GMA's City Managers Advisory Group and chairman of the GMA Telecommunications Advisory Board.

Under Howell's leadership, the City of Tifton has been awarded the Georgia Municipal Association's City of Excellence award, the Certified City of Ethics designation, developed a city-managed broadband Internet and cable system and established a nationally recognized downtown and residential historic preservation program.

Last week, the city approved an interlocal city/county fire protection agreement and has a joint agreement with Tift County for solid waste disposal and collection. City millage rates have been maintained or reduced every year for the past 16 years.

"Charlie Howell has greatly benefited a number of Georgia's cities, either directly through his leadership or indirectly through his expertise and creativity," said GMA Executive Director Jim Higdon. "He has been an invaluable resource to cities and to the Georgia Municipal Association."

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