Finding the chance to sit down with Suwanee’s mayor and lifelong resident is time well spent! Jimmy Burnette loves his community and truly cares about its people. He can tell you about the old days as well as how Suwanee has become a vibrant and successful town because of the people, planning and insight about how to nurture and grow one the best places to live.
What inspired you or led you to your current career?
As mayor, I grew up here and felt inspired to follow in my father’s footsteps who was on City Council for 32 years. He worked so hard to keep Suwanee on the map and moving forward. I also have a part-time residential remodeling business.
How long have you worked or lived in Suwanee?
All of my life.
What has kept you here?
I always thought I would come back here after being raised in Suwanee. In 1974, after graduating college, we came back and there were no jobs, nothing to rent and had no money to buy. In 1978, the current mayor told me that he was proud I had come back. Once I joined City Council in 1996 and then became mayor, I knew it was the right thing for me and it is important that we keep Suwanee a great place to call home and return to.
How big is your family?
Two grown sons, their wives and two grandchildren, 9 and 8 years old.
Who is the most interesting person you’ve met in Suwanee?
I have met so many interesting people: George Pierce, Wayne Hill, Coach Clark Hill, Coach “Mac,” and Leona Williams, my second grade teacher.
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
Europe: France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, England, Scotland. The food, the history.
What is the first movie you remember seeing in a theater?
What advice would you give a crowd of people?
I would encourage people to get involved with the city by volunteering their time and being part of what’s going on.
What is something on your bucket list?
If you could take anyone to lunch (dead or alive) who would that be and where would you go?
Jimmy Carter. I would take him to one of my favorites in Suwanee (mentioned above).
What is your favorite music/bands?
Southern rock — Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers, Queen, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix.
What local business makes you the most nostalgic about Suwanee?
Not a specific business, but the railroad is probably the nostalgic part of Suwanee.
What is your favorite thing about Suwanee?
Our diverse community adds to our uniqueness and high quality of life.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
I like to cook and I enjoy eating exotic foods.