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Saturday September 19th, 2020 5:53PM

Senior member of Hall County Commission faces off against political newcomer

By Marc Eggers Anchor / Reporter

GAINESVILLE – District 2 of Hall County is the only district divided into two separate landmasses, isolated from each other by the waters of Lake Lanier.

For the past 15-plus years they have been represented by Billy Powell.  He is up for re-election and faces a worthy challenger in the person of David Gibbs. 

Let’s meet the two candidates.

 

DAVID GIBBS

Gibbs is in his first political contest and believes that works in his favor; he says he supports term limits and bringing new people and ideas into county leadership. 

“If a farmer doesn’t rotate his crops he does not get productive growth,” Gibbs says on his Facebook page.

“If elected, one item I would like to look into that would be beneficial to our county is term limits for our commissioners,” the 27-year veteran of the Gainesville Fire Department said.

Gibbs, a lifelong resident of Hall County, and his wife, Michelle, have raised three children.  They live on Lake Lanier and like many lakefront residents have seen their property evaluations skyrocket. 

“I live on the lake and my taxes have gone up 100-percent over the past seven years,” Gibbs told WDUN’s Martha Zoller during a recent conversation on Morning Talk.  “We’re working people and it’s very hard to keep up with that.”

Gibbs spends much of his time away from the fire department managing his business, Gibbs Hardwood Flooring.  He also enjoys putting his commercial-sized smoker to good use: he recently has been trailering it to various sites around Hall County, serving pulled pork and chicken to first responders.

“I’m a Republican and very conservative,” Gibbs told Zoller.  “As Hall County continues to prosper and grow I would like to bring a fresh set of eyes to the commission.  I owe no one any favors and Hall County belongs to the people.”

To learn more about David Gibbs and his campaign for District 2 Hall County Commissioner visit his website by clicking here.

 

BILLY POWELL

“It’s not always a 5-0 decision,” Powell told WDUN’s Martha Zoller during an interview last month on Morning Talk when looking back at his time on the Hall County Commission.  “We all bring different strengths to the table.  We just have to listen to the information we are presented with…and come up with the best decision that we can.”

“You’re elected to make the hard decisions; it’s not a popularity vote,” the third term commissioner said, and in such cases experience is invaluable.

Powell has lots of that.  “Besides serving on the County Commission, I have served on the Hall County Library board, the Hall County Parks and Leisure board, I’m the current chairman of the Lake Lanier Convention and Visitors Bureau; I’ve held leadership positions with the Economic Development Council, the Lanier Joint Development (Authority), the Lake Lanier Association, the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, and Keep Hall Beautiful,” he listed for Zoller.

Powell, a Hall County native, has a degree in Industrial Engineering and spent two decades working in project management.  Currently he is with SVN/Hokayem Company, specializing in commercial real estate.  He is a member of Gainesville First United Methodist Church.

When Powell does manage to find some free time he enjoys fishing, and always has photos on his cell phone of his latest catch which he is more-than-willing to show anyone interested.

Powell says one of the driving forces behind his effort to seek re-election is also one of the main reasons he ran for public office in the first place: the Sardis Connector. 

Powell says the Georgia Department of Transportation project was part of a public meeting he attended in 2005 and his interest in that project led to his decision to run for the Hall County Commission.  The long-delayed state project is finally in its initial stages with right-of-way acquisition currently underway and groundbreaking not far off. Powell says he wants very much to be a part of its development.

To learn more about Powell, visit his Facebook campaign website by clicking here.

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