Clarkston mayor Howard Tygrett, who died on Christmas Day, is remembered as someone who was bringing positive change to the diverse city.
“The biggest thing was that he balanced the budget,” said vice mayor Emanuel Ransom. “We’re going into the new year with a balanced budget, finally.”
Tygrett, 40, died of unknown causes while visiting his wife’s family in Texas, according to city officials. Tygrett won a runoff last December and had made an impact in his short time as mayor, Ransom said.
“I lost someone who, in the short time I’ve known him, was a real good friend,” Ransom said. “He’s going to be missed.”
Ransom pointed out three projects that have revitalized the city under Tygrett’s direction. A new Dollar General store has come to the city, and Milam Park pool and Twin Lakes are undergoing major renovations. Twin Lakes, on the outskirts of Milam Park, is being dredged and will be stocked with fish. A fishing dock also will be added to the lake.
“It has about 14 feet of silt in it now,” Ransom said. “It’s going to be a family lake where people can go to fish or take a canoe out. People will be able to enjoy it like it was when I first came to Clarkston.”
Ransom said it is likely that one of those three projects will be dedicated in Tygrett’s honor.
“We have to keep moving on the vision that he and the council had for the city,” Ransom said. “And it will be an honor to get it done.”
In addition to serving as mayor, Tygrett was assistant manager of the REI store in Gwinnett County.
Under the city’s bylaws, Ransom will serve out Tygrett’s term as mayor, which ends in 2013. The city will be holding a special called meeting to appoint an additional council member and a vice mayor, Ransom said.
Tygrett is survived by his wife Amy and two children. The family will spread his cremated ashes on the beaches of South Padre Island in Texas, and Darling-Mouser Funeral Home in Brownsville, Texas, is handling the arrangements, according to the obituary.