July 26, 2013

Varnell’s Owens to run for mayor

Charles Oliver

— Varnell Mayor Pro Tem David Owens says the city has built up a “tremendous amount of momentum” during the past five years and he doesn’t want to lose it.

“We’ve been able to improve our recreation facilities. We received a $500,000 grant from the state to refurbish the Varnell House and build a community center. We built a new City Hall. This is such a nice community, and we’ve made great progress,” he said.

Owens, who currently holds Seat 5 on the City Council, says he will run for mayor this November. Mayor Dan Peeples says he will not seek re-election and has endorsed Owens.

“Mayor Peeples and I have worked well together. He had what he called a 2020 Vision, a long-range plan for the city, and I want to work to continue that plan,” Owens said.

That plan called for a new City Hall and community center and an outdoor pavilion, all of which have already been opened, as well as more sidewalks and street lights and increased retail development along Cleveland Highway.

The city recently received a $15,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Transportation for sidewalks near City Hall. The next mayor will be responsible for seeing that project to completion.

Owens says he is particularly proud of the relationships the City Council has built with other local officials.

“We work well with the (Whitfield County) Board of Commissioners, with our surrounding cities, with the sheriff’s department,” he said.

Owens has served on the City Council since 1997, has served as mayor pro tem for about 12 years, and also serves as chairman of the city’s budget committee. He served as interim mayor for several months in 2008 after Lindsey Metcalf stepped down as mayor and before Peeples was elected to fill the remaining term.

“I have been a public servant for many years. I have worked hard to make this a better place, and I will continue my efforts to help the city move forward,” he said.

Owens is the owner of Capitol Industries Inc., Cavalier Flooring Products and Dalton Direct Carpets. He has a bachelor of science in finance and accounting from Shorter College in Rome. He served in the Navy and is a member and former president of the National Association of Accountants/North Georgia.