Brent Newsome says in the past six months he’s been to at least as many Varnell City Council meetings as several of the council members.

“We do not have responsible representation,” he said. “I have personally been to more meetings in the last three months than some of our current councilmen.”

That’s why Newsome is running for Seat 2 on the council, he said. He’ll face Harveyleen Rollins on Nov. 3. Susan Hamlin, the Seat 2 incumbent, is not seeking re-election.

Newsome said he wants to help the city grow, improve relationships between city leaders and other local officials and help the town make a name for itself.

He said relationships with Whitfield County commissioners and Dalton Utilities officials should be improved by city officials behaving professionally and researching issues before it’s necessary to vote on them.

Most residents want new restaurants and other kinds of businesses, Newsome said, but that growth won’t happen until sewers come in. Newsome said the council should research available grants and create better relationships with the county and Dalton Utilities so that can happen.

“One thing I don’t think we have in Varnell is an identity,” he added.

Building a new city hall, refurbishing the Varnell House and adding a senior center will go a long way toward establishing that identity, he said. Newsome said he favors building a city hall between 4,000 and 5,000 square feet, although it could initially be built smaller and expanded. While Newsome said it’s still early in the planning, he said he would probably vote for an “old school throwback architecture” instead of an “eclectic new age architecture.”

The city also needs to encourage residential growth that he believes will come with the building of the new Whitfield County high school near Prater’s Mill, he said. Designing a marketing campaign and offering incentives for developers are two ways the city might encourage growth.

“I definitely want to see us continue with the recreation improvements we’ve been doing,” Newsome added.

He said he was involved with the Varnell Athletic Association for several years and would like the city to offer more recreational options like basketball for 7- and 8-year-olds.

Newsome has been a member of the Highland Pointe homeowners association for three years, is a member of the North Whitfield Middle School council and attends Varnell United Methodist Church.

The 39-year-old has lived in Varnell eight years with wife Donna, stepson Cody and daughters Taylor and Sami. He is an information technology manager with Marketing Alliance Group and also owns a small IT business, InventureIT.

He can be contacted through his Web site, www.brentnewsome.com.

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