During the past four years, Varnell has completed several major building projects, including a senior center and new City Hall.
Anthony Hulsey says it’s time for the city to take a break from these large projects.
“We need to slow down a little bit. We have to get our spending under control. We have a nice senior center. We have a nice City Hall. We don’t really need more new buildings. We need to focus on fixing what we already have,” said Hulsey.
Hulsey faces former City Council member David Owens in the Nov. 5 race for mayor. Early voting is underway and continues through Nov. 1.
Hulsey points to the Peacock Alley playground as an example of a facility that needs to be repaired.
“That playground is near the ball field. It’s near the elementary school, so it’s used a lot. But it’s 20-something years old. It would be nice to have a new playground, and when the budget is in better shape and we have more money maybe we can do that. But right now, we should spend a little bit of money to fix it up,” he said.
Hulsey, 43, said he is concerned about how much the city has been spending.
“We need to look at where the money is going. We have to see how it got this way,” he said.
He said he disagrees with the decision of the current council not to hire a new city manager after Jason Hall resigned in March.
“You need somebody there full time to manage the day-to-day operations of the city. The mayor is a part-time job, and somebody has to be there to run the city,” he said.
A 1989 graduate of Northwest Whitfield High School, Hulsey has a bachelor’s in criminal justice from Thomas University in Thomasville.
He has served as a trooper in the Georgia State Patrol for the past 13 years and before that was an assistant manager at Lowe’s for 11 years. He also served in the Army Reserve for eight years.
He and his wife Misti have three sons: Zackary, 14, Ryan, 10, and Nathan, 2.
Hulsey said he is very active in the community, serving as president of the Northwest Whitfield High School Band Boosters Association and the New Hope Athletic Association. This is his first run for elected office.
“It’s something I’ve been interested in for years, and I’ve had some people ask me about it. This seemed like a good time,” he said.”
“A lot of people I talk to want to see more growth. They’d like to see more restaurants. When you get home after a day at work, the last thing you want to do is drive back to Dalton or to Chattanooga to eat,” he said.
He said he’d also like to work to create more activities in Varnell.
“I’d like to see the council bring in a car show, or maybe bring in Santa Claus to City Hall for the children to have their photograph taken with him,” he said. “I’d like to create a community food bank to get help for people in the Varnell community. Things that would help the community and bring people together.”