In December the Dawsonville City Council swore in its newest member, John Walden, who represents Post 3 and fills the seat vacated after previous council member Jason Power resigned in November.
Last week, the Dawson County News sat down with Walden to talk about his background, priorities and why he decided to seek the city council position.
“Right before qualifying for city council I had several people approach me, call me and email me and asked would I run. At the time it was Mr. Power’s seat, and at first I say ‘If he was still running I would not run against him,’” Walden said. “He’s done an excellent job for the city of Dawsonville, and I was pretty comfortable about where I was at on the planning commission.”
When it was clear that Power would not be running, Walden says he consulted with his family and prayed about the decision to run for city council.
“I love this town and I love to see good things happen so that’s the reason why I got in it,” Walden said.
Walden is no stranger to city business. He previously served on the Downtown Development Authority before sitting on the city’s planning commission in order to be more hands on with city business.
Now that he’s sitting on the city council, Walden is excited to bring his civil engineering background to the table and address citizens’ concerns such as fast development and lack of parking in downtown.
“One thing I would love to see is make parking more available in downtown Dawsonville. I think that’s a very big need,” Walden said. “I think that if we accomplish that then I think we’ll see more businesses want to come to downtown Dawsonville.”
Speaking as a city resident, Walden said he’d like to see collaboration with county commissioners in order to address some of the parking and traffic concerns, with both city and county officials working together to improve infrastructure in downtown Dawsonville.
“I’m still trying to see where we’re at,” Walden said of the city’s current infrastructure. “I’ve still got to put my hands in more stuff, but like I said I’m just getting started.”
Walden is currently a survey manager at Land Development Professionals in Dawsonville and has 20 years of experience in civil engineering and 10 in telecommunications.
Originally from Blue Ridge, Walden moved to Dawsonville in 1985. He has been married to Lisa since 2001 and has three daughters: Hannah, Abigail and Gracie. In his spare time Walden enjoys trout fishing in the mountains and coaching Gracie’s U8 softball team.
Thus far in his journey on the city council and with several meetings under his belt, Walden say he has no regrets.
“Even though I went through this big jump in and all that, I don’t regret it one bit so far. I could say nothing but great things about the city of Dawsonville and the fellow councilmen,” Walden said.
When asked what he would like to tell the citizens of Dawsonville, Walden said he’d like for residents to “keep me in their thoughts and prayers on this new journey and pray that I make the right decisions. That’s what I ask.”