MANSFIELD -- Marty Smallwood has lived in the small town of Mansfield for 17 years, preferring the peace and quiet and rural atmosphere he finds there.
It was when things got rowdy over a proposal by Georgia Transmission Corporation to run power lines through a residential area that Smallwood decided to get involved politically and run for a seat on the Mansfield City Council. He's running for Post 1, against incumbent Orville McGunigal. Smallwood said he's hoping to bring "a new direction and new ways of looking at things," to the council.
If elected, one of his top priorities will be to improve communications between the government and citizens.
"With the power pole situation, a lot of the town didn't know it was taking place until they started surveying for the land," though officials knew months beforehand, he said.
Smallwood will propose a town website or newsletter to keep citizens up to date on what's happening. He also wants to find ways to encourage more citizen involvement, noting that residents rarely come to council meetings.
"We've got good people in Mansfield, smart people, and we really need to tap into that resource we've got and get them involved in the town," he said.
Smallwood would also like to see an ordinance related to beautification of the town that would address junk cars and hold homeowners and landlords accountable for cleaning up unkempt property.
"I'm not wanting to change everything. This is a small town. We have limited revenue as far as what we can and can't do. A lot of people moved there for the small town atmosphere. I'm not looking for any growth for the town. I want to keep it like it is but improve on it some," he said.
A Newton native, Smallwood, 47, graduated from Newton County High School in 1982. He works at C.R. Bard as a sterilization coordinator. He and wife Theresa have two sons, Blake, a senior at Eastside, and Tyler, who is in eighth grade at Indian Creek Middle School.
The Municipal Election takes place Nov. 8.