Local News

October 19, 2013

Candidate profiles: Cohutta Town Council, Wesley Mahan

Mahan wants more jobs without over-development

DALTON — Wesley Mahan says he’s been all over the world. Charleston, S.C., England, Germany and Spain, among other places. That’s partly due to his military career with the Air Force and National Guard.

But throughout the world, there’s nothing quite like Cohutta, he said, noting, “It’s a good, quiet community.”

That’s why Mahan is running for a spot on the Cohutta Town Council. Incumbent Ben Manis and Greg Fowler are also running. There are two seats up for election this year, which means the two candidates who receive the most votes will prevail.

Early voting is underway and continues through Nov. 1. The election is Nov. 5.

Mahan wants to “grow the town without changing the small town atmosphere.” That means spurring job growth to fill some of the abandoned buildings in town, as opposed to major development that could hurt the close-knit feel of Cohutta, he said.

Mahan said he wants to broker deals with businesses to use “buildings and facilities that are there that aren’t being used.”

“We can grow without changing,” he added.

When it comes to spending, Mahan said he’s focused on always supporting “public safety” and the Cohutta Police Department.

He said he also wants to enforce business hours he said are treated too laxly by government workers, one example being the local post office.

“The workers get bored and leave at 3:30 or 3:45 when they should be there till 4 p.m. (the posted closing time),” he said.

So what’s prepared Mahan to take on decisions council members must make? Determination, he said. This is the third consecutive election he has vied for a spot on the council and he says he thinks this is his year to win.

Determination is also what got him into law enforcement. After graduating from Dalton High School in 1996, Mahan said he tried to get a job at the Dalton Police Department and Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office.

When both didn’t work out, Mahan kept at it and landed a night gig at Hays State Prison, between Summerville and LaFayette on Ga. Highway 1.

That’s where he says he “baby-sits killers.”

“If I can deal with people for doing heinous things, I’m pretty sure I can handle a town council,” he said. “I like it here (Cohutta). It’s quiet and I like quiet and I hope to keep it that way.”

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