Upcoming Municipal Elections May Result in New Leadership in Key Areas

On November 3rd, municipal elections will be held for Mayor and City Council positions around the Metro area. While many cities will not be holding their scheduled elections as all candidates are running unopposed (Alpharetta, Milton, Duluth), several seats are facing substantial challenges this year.

Dunwoody Mayor, Mike Davis is challenged by three new candidates as he runs for his second term. Davis is the second Mayor of Dunwoody, serving since 2012 and has overseen major economic development wins for the City including State Farm and the High Street office development. He has also been actively involved in negotiating major investments in transportation improvements to address traffic concerns in the Dunwoody Perimeter area as these new projects come on line. Davis is challenged by Denis Shorthall, Mayor Pro Tem and City Councilman, who has served in his current role since the City’s founding in 2008. Shorthall’s campaign is focus is on “restoring open and positive leadership for Dunwoody Citizens,” claiming that he will strive to create more transparency in the City’s decision-making processes. Candidates Steve Chipka and Chris Grivakis have not previously served in office, but are long time Dunwoody residents with visions for how the City should approach growth management. To watch the candidate forum, where all Mayor and City Council candidates discussed their campaign objectives, click HERE.

The City of Smyrna is hosting several major races this year with challenges for the Mayoral and five of the seven City Council seats. Mayor Max Bacon has held the office since 1985, overseeing prosperous growth of the City and actively promoting major developments like Market Village. Bacon has prioritized business success and economic development in Smyrna throughout his tenure, remaining involved with the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Smyrna Development Authority and the Smyrna Business Association. The Mayor is challenged by City Councilman Wade Lnenicka and Alex Backry. Lnenicka, who has served on City Council almost as long as Bacon has been Mayor, claims that Smyrna is ready for new leadership with a new vision for the City’s growth. His platform focuses on greater investment in education, increased citizen involvement and promoting business and economic development. Alex Backry, also vying for the Mayor’s seat, is focused on greater transparency in government and reducing taxes. The Smyrna Business Association hosted the Candidates Forum earlier this week to engage with the Mayor and City council candidates. With the Mayor’s seat and all but two of the City Council posts under contest, an entire new governing body could turnover in the City. To read more about the candidates’ visions for Smyrna, click HERE.

The City of Roswell could also see City Council turnover next month. While other North Fulton Cities like Milton and Alpharetta have canceled their elections due to lack of opposition, three City Council posts are contested in Roswell, one of which has five different candidates. Rich Dippolito,  partner with Concordia Properties, LLC, has served on the Council since 2007 and the Planning Commission prior to that, is challenged by small business owner, Marcelo Zapata for Post 1 and Rebecca Wynn is challenged by Michael Palermo for Post 2. Wynn has served on City Council since 2007 including roles as Transportation Liaison, Public Works Liaison, and Community Development Liaison and has been a major proponent of economic development and revitalization in Roswell. The City Council Post 3 is currently vacant and 5 candidates have qualified for the race. Roswell NEXT will hold a Candidates Forum next Thursday, October 29th at 7PM at High Meadows School, where candidates can share the vision and goals for how Roswell should address future growth and development.

The City of Brookhaven will have a new Mayor next year after Mayor Rebecca Williams withdrew her candidacy to retain her seat due to family reasons. Running for the office include former Chair of the DeKalb County Board of Ethics, John Ernst and Dale Boone. Ernst is focused on expanding parks and greenspace in Brookhaven, increasing government transparency and reducing government spending. Ernst is also proposing a moratorium on zoning applications that increase density and an update to the City’s Comprehensive Plan addressing desired densities in the City. Dale Boone’s campaign is focused on addressing traffic congestion, increasing public safety and reducing property taxes. The District 1 Council Seat, currently held by Linley Jones is challenged by Eve Erdogan. Both candidates are experienced attorneys and long-time residents of Brookhaven. Jones’ top issues are supporting smart growth, addressing traffic concerns and maintaining ethical government practices, while Erdogan is focused on serving as a “watchdog” for how development proposals affect the City’s residents.  To read more about the Mayoral and Council candidates, click HERE.

Click HERE to see all contested offices and candidate lists in Cobb, Cherokee, DeKalb, Forsyth, Fulton and Gwinnett.