Local News

May 17, 2014

Candidate profile: Davis says business background an asset

— Nine years ago, Renee Davis spotted a need in Whitfield County that no one else was filling and used her insight to build a successful business. Now, she says, she wants to use those skills to help the county move forward.

A graduate of Dalton High School, Davis earned a bachelor’s degree from Berry College in animal science.

“When I got out of college and came back to Dalton, I started to work with Dr. Emily Felker at House Call Vet Clinic,” Davis said. “Riding around with her, I started to realize that if people from this area went on vacation or had to go out of town on business, they didn’t have many options for their pets. I saw that need and decided there was an opportunity there.”

She opened Four Paws Pet Resort, which not only provides pet owners with a place to leave their cats and dogs when they go on vacation but also pet bathing, grooming, obedience training and other services.

“When I opened my business, one of my goals was to become more involved in the community,” Davis said. I got involved in the (Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce) and took part in everything they did that I could. I graduated from the Emerging Leaders Institute in 2013, and I’ve just graduated from Leadership Dalton-Whitfield.”

Earlier this year, Gordon Morehouse, a Republican who represents District 1 on the county Board of Commissioners, announced he would not run for re-election, and Davis decided that opened up an opportunity for her to take her service to the community to a higher level.

Davis faces Cody Holloway, Barry Robbins and Nicky Starling in Tuesday’s Republican primary for District 1, which is basically the southeast part of Whitfield County. But it’s a county-wide election, meaning all residents in the county can vote in it. No Democrats qualified.

“I’m fiscally conservative,” Davis said. “As a business owner, I have to meet my budget or I go out of business. I’ll go over the county budget with that same level of detail and see if I can find creative ways to save money.”

Davis said that with the economy still sluggish, raising property taxes would hurt many people.

Commissioners are currently talking about putting a special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) on s special election ballot in March 2015. Davis says she doesn’t know yet if she supports that idea.

“I do know that if we put a SPLOST on the ballot, we need to be very careful about laying out the costs of the projects for the voters, not just the costs to build them but the costs to maintain everything after it has been built,” she said.

She says she does support the commissioners’ decision to place two referendums on the November ballot dealing with Sunday sales of alcohol.

“My view of that is that the commissioners aren’t imposing anything. They are just asking the people to decide what they want to do,” she said.

Davis said she would support county efforts to bring new and different types of business to the area.

Davis and her husband Jeremy have been married almost 14 years.

To find out more about Davis, go to reneedaviswcc.vpweb.com.


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