The January Georgia Trend article stated the list “reflects the realities of leadership, power and influence in Georgia.”
“Some of the 100 wield their influence in the limelight; others work behind the scenes. But all of them impact the daily lives of Georgians everywhere,” the article said.
The list includes Gov. Nathan Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Speaker of the House David Ralston and a number of constitutional officers, members of Georgia’s congressional delegation, state legislators, business leaders, bankers, philanthropists, university presidents, social activists, and entertainers.
Austin is among five mayors on the list, including Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver, Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson, Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed – who was named Georgian of the Year.
The portion of the article on Austin, 51, noted his length of service to his community. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia and has served as Dallas mayor since 1996.
“Austin is the longest-serving mayor and dean of the chief elected officials in Paulding County. In 2011, he was elected to his fifth consecutive term in office. A leader in promoting regional growth and cooperation, he chairs the governing board of the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District and is on the board of directors of the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority,” it said.
Austin said in a statement he was “very surprised” when he received the notice of the award.
“To be included in a list that includes so many people I know and admire is very humbling,” Austin said. “I appreciate the recognition, particularly, acknowledgment of the need for regional and statewide cooperation.”
For more than a decade, Austin has worked on water issues in Georgia, according to the statement.
“As chair of the Metropolitan North Georgia Water District, he has helped to educate his fellow Georgians on water policy, and to stand up for Georgia’s right to use the water that falls, flows through, and is stored in the state,” it said.
Austin also is known for his work in the Georgia Municipal Association which represents 512 Georgia cities. He serves on its executive committee, board of directors, legislative policy committee and property committee.
He is a trustee and executive committee member of the Georgia Municipal Employees Benefits System Retirement Fund, Life and Health Insurance Fund, Workers’ Compensation Self-Insurance Fund and the Georgia Interlocal Risk Management Property and Casualty Fund.
Austin also serves as a member of the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority and is a member of the Immigration Enforcement Review Board.
Locally, Austin serves as chairman of the county Industrial Building Authority and vice chairman of the county Airport Authority. He also is a longtime member of the board of the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission.