Varnell Mayor Dan Peeples says being mayor involves more than just a City Council meeting once a month. He says his calendar is filled with meetings with constituents, talks before the Dalton-Whitfield Chamber of Commerce and other local groups, and discussions with state and county officials on maters of common interest.

“I get an invitation to something at least once a week,” he said.

Peeples describes himself as a cheerleader for the city, letting those outside the city limits know about the growth and new projects the city is seeing and spurring those inside the city to even better results.

“That’s one of my best attributes. I like being a motivator and promoter,” he said.

Peeples won a special election last year to fill the unexpired term of former mayor Lindsey Metcalf, who had stepped down. He faces former city chief probation officer Bill Morgan on Nov. 3 for a full four-year term.

Peeples says the election is about whether to continue the momentum the city has built over the past year or moving backwards.

He said the city has improved its recreation facilities (ball fields, playgrounds and park areas) by selling hundreds of unused and unnecessary assets such as boats, motorcycles, grills, snow plows, radio towers, steel beams, old televisions and even old tires on www.govdeals.com.

“We have made over $65,000 and put that money to good use,” he said.

He noted the city has created a newsletter to keep residents informed and started a Web site (www.cityofvarnell.com).

“Our greatest achievement this year has been applying for and receiving a $500,000 grant for a senior center which will be an addition to the historic Varnell House,” he said.

“We are also so fortunate that a local businessman was excited about the new things we are doing in Varnell and decided to sell the city a $350,000 piece of prime property for just over $100,000 to one day build a city hall,” he said.

Peeples said he hopes to have plans for that city hall, to be built at the intersection of Highway 2 and Highway 201, and perhaps even the building itself finished by the next election.

He said the city is also saving several thousand dollars on property insurance and liability insurance because of the sale of the old city hall. The City Council abandoned the 76-year-old building last year, citing mold, asbestos and structural problems.

The council earlier this year put the building up for bids and accepted the highest of four bids, $10,000.

“I wish the building would have sold for more, but I believe everyone understands the terrible shape the building was in,” Peeples said.

He also noted the city has acquired a new garbage truck, which he says will save the city money on labor and maintenance.

Peeples is vice president of Julian Peeples Funeral Home and president of Peeples Monument Services. He graduated from Northwest Whitfield High School in 1996. He has a degree in business administration from the University of West Georgia and a degree in mortuary science from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in Atlanta.

He and his wife Katie celebrated the birth of their first child, Nathan, about eight weeks ago.

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