McIntosh grad to seek mayor’s office
Jolly wants to bring civility back to council meetings
Local businessman Ryan Jolly has announced he will seek the mayor’s office in Peachtree City this November.
At 34, Jolly is on the young side but he has seen enough council meetings first-hand to know what one of his top goals would be if elected: to bring credibility to council.
“My major goal is to bring respect back to the office of mayor,” Jolly said, noting that by definition the mayor’s major role is to lead city council meetings. “... The mayors, what they say and do is reflective on the whole city.”
If the mayor focuses on the negative, “no one knows about the good things going on in the city, only the bad stuff,” Jolly added.
Jolly has seen some of the heated disputes that have broken out between council and current mayor Don Haddix, and he says they have no place when conducting the public’s business at a council meeting. Jolly said he has already met with other council members and told them he wants to restore peace and order to council meetings.
“I told them we may not always agree on everything but if you scream and yell when you don’t get your way, you have closed your ears and mind to any ideas, and someone may have an idea or position you don’t think about.”
Jolly said he supports redevelopment of empty buildings in the city’s industrial park and said he particularly worries about the status of the old Photocircuits building there.
Financially, Jolly said he realizes that no one likes paying taxes, but there are only certain places the city can cut without facing consequences. For example, if the city starts cutting employee salaries, they could stand to lose good people.
At the same time, Jolly suggests if the city gets to the point where it has “too much” money coming in, the money should be given back to citizens. He also wants citizens to have the power to vote on large scale projects to determine if there is enough desire for them.
“I am an independent who leans conservative but I don’t let a party decide how I think,” Jolly said. “I use research to give me the information to make the best decision possible.”
Jolly’s business, Jolly Technologies, was founded in 2005 and performs computer repair and networking consulting for small and medium sized businesses along with residential customers. Jolly said he is hoping to expand in the very near future as his company works all over the metro Atlanta area.
Another of Jolly’s goals is to improve the city’s timeliness on customer service requests, and also to expand citizen surveys so all residents can have their say on the city’s future.
A graduate of McIntosh High School, Jolly went to Georgia Southern but never earned a college degree. At Georgia Southern he got police experience working with the campus public safety department, he also worked in accounting for Shell Oil, and also with NCR and Delta Airlines.
The Delta experience showed Jolly how to deal with customers who are both happy and mad, he said.
While the lack of a college degree may make it more difficult for some residents to envision him as mayor, Jolly said he has plenty of business experience and common sense to bring to the table. Jolly explained that he has a host of certificates from additional learning he has needed to work on computers and expand his business.
Jolly has lived in Peachtree City most of his life, save for about five years he spent in Traverse City, Mich. with his wife Sheri. The couple now lives here in Peachtree City with Jolly’s parents in the house he grew up in on Robinson Bend Trail.
The goal of moving back was to help take care of Jolly’s parents, and he also pays half of the bills in exchange for living there. While some may make fun of the scenario, Jolly said he is incredibly close to his family and it was an easy decision to make.
Jolly said he wants the city to do more to attract young families, including the possibility of adding a bowling alley with an arcade to give younger kids something to do.
At the same time, Jolly said he wants to keep the “respectful” flavor of business offerings in the city, because “we don’t want a bunch of junk coming in.”
Jolly said he also wants to petition Google to see if he can revive the idea of bringing the company’s fiber optic high speed Internet to the city. After paying a $200 fee to run the line to their house, the service would be free for five gigabytes a month downloads and uploads of 1 gigabyte, he said.
Google also offers a $120 plan for phone, internet and TV service, and the high speed would make it easy to stream HD and 3D movies, Jolly said.