Keeping History Alive With Tim Killingsworth
Tim Killingsworth is up for re-election for Post 2 of Kennesaw's City Council.
It’s a rainy afternoon in downtown Kennesaw as Councilman Tim Killingsworth talks about his work as a council member, his campaign for re-election and his passion for helping Kennesaw’s veterans. The former Marine's voice lifts as he talks about some of Kennesaw’s hometown heroes—a Pearl Harbor survivor, the first female Postmaster General and a former member of the Tuskegee Airmen.
“Veterans like to hear two words,” says Killingsworth. “Thank you.”
Keeping History Alive
“Their story needs to be told because it’s history, and if we don’t tell that story, history will slip right through our fingers,” says Killingsworth, who served as an aircraft engine mechanic in the Marine Corps for more than a decade.
Killingsworth, who has been a member of the Kennesaw City Council for the past four years and is seeking re-election, says it was Acworth Mayor Tommy Allegood who asked, “Tim, does Kennesaw do anything for Veterans Day?”
“I looked at Tommy and said, ‘No Tommy, but if I have anything to do with it, it will never happen again,'” he says.
Killingsworth says Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews and fellow members of the City Council embraced his passion for serving the local veteran community, allowing him to take the lead in putting together a Veterans Day luncheon. He says the city has since partnered with American Legion Post 304 in organizing the event.
The luncheon, which serves free lunch to local veterans and military service members, is now going on its third year.
Killingsworth says his efforts have also brought the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon to visit Kennesaw not once, but twice, and that he’s currently leading an initiative to digitally document the stories of local veterans.
Killingsworth says his own military background has helped shape who he is as a man and as a council member: “The military teaches you to fill in gaps. It teaches you to take charge when needed. On the same hand, it teaches you to follow the direction of the overall cause.”
Killingsworth says he grew up as the son of a Southern Baptist minister. As a kid, he loved baseball and played sports during his junior and high school years in Alabama. He also has a passion for singing.
He worked for Coca Cola before deciding to "chase a dream and join the Marine Corps." He later worked for a recruiting firm, then ran his own recruiting service until 2009.
Killingsworth has been married for 21 years and has two daughters, Joy and Amy. He says he moved to Kennesaw in June of 1997 and that his community involvement started at the family level—coaching softball to become involved in his daughters’ lives.
“I still have girls today of mature age with children that call me ‘Coach Tim, the bubblegum coach,’” he says. “It makes you feel good when parents look at you and say thank you for being such a positive role model.”
Killingsworth also served as president of the Westover Homeowner’s Association for eight years before being elected to Kennesaw's City Council. He currently serves as liaison to the Public Works Department and to Smith-Gilbert Gardens.
He says he first realized he was doing his job correctly after helping an elderly woman who had contacted Public Works several times to look at her trashcan, which had a broken lid. Her elderly husband had a bad shoulder, and rolling the trash to the street was already a task in itself, he says.
"That day, she had a new trashcan, and she called me back just profusely thankful because someone at City Hall cared," says Killingsworth.
He describes the job of a council member as: "Being able to have somebody ask for something and getting it done—whether it be getting a trashcan fixed, to cutting back kudzu, to talking to a business about moving in the Kennesaw area."
On the Issues
If re-elected, Killingsworth says his first priorities will involve documenting the stories of local veterans "on top of what we already have moving—continuing to bring businesses to the Kennesaw area and continuing to be fiscally responsible and continuing to promote Kennesaw throughout the Kennesaw region."
"Because of the relationships the mayor and council have established countywide and even statewide, there are companies that want to move to the Kennesaw area," says Killingsworth. "That’s evident with even Home Depot wanting to open up their call center. I attribute that to the relationships that have been built."
He says the current council has made great strides in developing and growing the downtown area. He says the addition of food trucks to the area during Dinner at the Depot on Monday nights is a great addition. Plus, "the nightlife in Kennesaw is picking up with the Trackside and Trinity Creole Café. So we’re moving in the right direction," he says.
When it comes to the TSPLOST, a regional 1-cent transportation sales tax that voters will decide on next year, Killingsworth has stated that he does support it.
Killingsworth says he is in touch with the needs of the public: "The economy is paramount. From a Kennesaw perspective, they want the city to grow. They want the city to have a good name. And they want the city beautiful."