John F. Schaffner
The city of Sandy Springs may only be four years old at this point, but its second round of municipal elections is already shaping up to be interesting.
Eva Galambos only had one candidate to beat in her successful bid to become the city’s first mayor four years ago. She now faes three challengers in her bid for re-election Nov. 3.
The four-person mayoral race presents voters with an interesting variety of candidates.
Of course, Galambos is one of those interesting characters. At age 81, she swims 25 laps a day to keep in shape and it shows with the stamina she has brought to the job as mayor and the five decades she spent as the “mother” who gave birth to the city of Sandy Springs. She continued her frenzied pace of service even during chemotherapy treatments for cancer last year. She turned her passion for growing gardens into growing a new city.
Then there is Robert “Bob” Brown, a Sandy Springs resident for 45 years and known for much of that time as the owner of Red Baron’s Antiques, the head-turning collection of very large statuary and fountains, antique cars, musical instruments, and just about everything anyone could possibly want, or not, for their home décor. Brown, 65, has said he doesn’t feel the present administration is “business friendly.”
The third candidate, Donald Patrick “Donnie” Bolena, a 44-year-old native of Jacksonville, Fla., moved to Sandy Springs in 2002 and refers to himself as a “motivational speaker,” publisher of two self-help books, and co-founder of the Christian Sports Network and Christians fo4 America. Some writers to this newspaper suggest he has a different background. We suggest interested readers Google his name on the Internet and judge for themselves.
Then there is the father/daughter team. Father Warren James Hull, 61, is running for mayor. His daughter, Deborah Hull is challenging City Council Member Tiberio DeJulio in the District 5 race. The father has lived in Sandy Springs for 54 years and attended the old Sandy Springs High School. He has worked for last 30 years in the body shop at Ed Voyles Honda in Marietta. Daughter Deborah, 27, who is following her father’s footsteps as a first-time political candidate, also followed her father into auto-body paint shop work before attending Georgia Perimeter College.
Perhaps the Sandy Springs voters who have faced the greatest challenge in the past four years are those in District 1. They will be electing their third fresh face to that council seat in four years, as present incumbent Doug MacGinnitie is now seeking election as Georgia Secretary of State. The first office holder in that district, Dave Greenspan, quit mid-term, which led to MacGinnitie’s election. Maybe the next Dist. 1 council member will stick around for awhile.
This looks to be an interesting election year. I urge voters to get to know the candidates at an upcoming public forum and then, by all means, get out and vote Nov. 3.