Union's had more than its share of negative publicity over the years.
Harold Thompson hopes to change that.
“My plan is to find something positive that Union can be identified with besides Susan Smith and what happened in the last administration,” he said in an interview this week.
Union's first African American mayor says he feels bad when he represents the city at meetings with other mayors and business people looking to relocate in this area and hears negative comments about the area.
Despite the black cloud left by the previous administration, Union is headed in the right direction, Thompson said.
“We have some good folks on council who had some forethought and vision about the direction that Union should be moving in,” he said. “We have a good direction and hopefully we can stick with the plan and keep moving in that positive direction.”
In recent years Union's downtown has undergone major renovations, a new art center was completed on Main Street and plans are in the works for a children's museum.
The city has also played a major role in the Timken Sports Complex, the Timken spec building in Union Commerce Park and development along the Duncan By-Pass.
“My whole vision is to put things in motion to be beneficial for my grandchildren, your children, my neighbor's children and my friends' children,” Thompson said. “A lot of things need to be put in motion for the next generation that is coming up.”
Thompson's positive outlook is just what the city needs. With his guidance, Union's future looks bright.