Social Circle native Dally throws hat in mayoral race

Photo by Barbara Knowles

Photo by Barbara Knowles

SOCIAL CIRCLE -- The field in the race to be the next mayor of Social Circle is becoming more crowded now that a third person has declared his intention to run.

Lifelong resident Hal Dally announced this week that he plans to qualify in August as a mayoral candidate. City Councilman David Keener and Social Circle resident Hosea Jackson previously stated their intentions to run. Current Mayor Jim Burgess has said he does not intend to seek re-election.

"I have a great love for the city and have been involved for the last 20 or 25 years with city activities," Dally said. "I want to make sure the town grows, with controlled growth, good growth."

Dally has a long history in public service. He has served in leadership positions with First Baptist Church of Social Circle, the Kiwanis Club of Covington, and the Monroe Golf and Country Club, and has been a member of the Rotary Club of Social Circle.

He said he is most proud of his involvement with opening the Boys & Girls Club in Social Circle and the later formation of the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia, where he serves on the board of directors.

Dally began his involvement in city and elective politics when he was named in 1991 to the city's Planning and Zoning Board. Two years later, Dally was elected as the first chairman of the Social Circle City Schools' Board of Education, where he served until December 2009.

Since that time, Dally has served as chairman of the Social Circle Downtown Development Authority and as a member of the Social Circle Industrial Authority.

As mayor, he would be able to help oversee several projects he has worked to formulate. The three most prominent are the downtown improvement plan, the sidewalk promenade from downtown to the Blue Willow Inn and the Mill Village redevelopment plan.

"You see a lot of cities with distressed areas and they need a little help to improve; these projects will do that," Dally said. "We need more businesses to locate here and the redevelopment plan will help encourage them to do that."

Dally said the way to achieve success with short- and long-term projects is to establish a strategic plan, prioritize projects, set timelines and work on them as funds are available.

He developed these skills throughout his 35 years as a businessman and banker. Dally, who graduated from Social Circle High School in 1970, worked in his family's agricultural business after receiving an accounting degree from West Georgia College. In 1985, he changed careers and began working for the Bank of Covington, which later became Main Street Bank. After BB&T purchased Main Street Bank, Dally joined Fidelity Bank, where he worked until his retirement in 2009. Throughout his tenure, he oversaw lending activities to individual, commercial and public customers.

While this experience would benefit his goal of providing essential city services while keeping costs and debt low, Dally said his time on the school board helped hone his skills building and working with committees.

"The mayor and council work the same way (as the school board)," he said. "You have to build a team and work together to make sure all the citizens' needs are addressed and to develop a strategic plan."