Candidates tout community ties
by Rachel Miller
July 04, 2013 12:00 AM | 2229 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — When residents of the far northwest tip of Marietta vote this fall for their City Council representative, the choice will be between two men with a long history in the area, including connections to elected officials, community boards and well-known businesses.

Ward 4, which runs along Kennesaw Avenue, is unique because it is an older section of Marietta, according to the district’s councilman, Andy Morris, who has announced he will run for re-election.

Marshall Dye, who has been a Marietta resident for 38 years, said he will challenge Morris for the City Council post and is already actively campaigning.

Dye originally planned to play host to a meet and greet today at 1 p.m. in front of his home at 470 Church St., where he has lived for 27 years.

The “Hot Dogs on the Lawn” event, promoted as Dye’s chance to shake hands with parade-goers, was canceled due to weather.

Community members

Dye said his biggest strength is that he is in touch with the neighborhood.

Dye said he has known Morris for many years, and “I don’t want to start anything,” but Morris is “just not out there” in the community.

“It takes energy to research issues, find out the opinions of the community, listen to the advice of experts, come together with differing minds, and make informed decisions,” Dye said.

Dye said he plans to be more involved and hold town meetings each month where residents of his ward can discuss issues.

Morris said his campaign fundraising will kick off in September, when he will knock on doors in major subdivisions and streets to “talk with people on their front steps.”

Community service

First elected to City Council in 2002, Morris served one term before deciding not to run again.

Morris won a special election in July 2012 to finish Councilman Van Pearlberg’s term when he resigned to run for Cobb Superior Court judge.

Morris said he came back to the council to work with Mayor Steve Tumlin and Councilman Grif Chalfant, both men he has known since grammar school, in hopes of improving the city.

He said the hardest part of being on the council is getting everyone to agree on how best to change Marietta.

But, Morris said, that means the biggest achievement is seeing success in areas that started to be redeveloped in 2005.

“You only have to go to the Square on any Friday night to feel the life,” Morris said.

Community development

After serving on the Marietta Board of Zoning Appeals for seven years, Dye said he was alerted this week by the city attorney that he will have to drop off the board to run for City Council.

Dye said he wants to direct the city’s growth while maintaining Marietta’s heritage. Maneuvering on that fine line “takes consistent energy and hard work,” Dye said.

“If you have surroundings that aren’t healthy, it takes away from the history of the area,” Dye said.

Dye said he is “100 percent behind Mayor Tumlin on the Franklin Road bond,” and that improvement is needed “on one of the most dangerous streets in Cobb County.”

As the council’s hospital liaison, Morris said he is better able than any other candidate to offer “a good working relationship with Kennestone Hospital.”

As a strong supporter of Kennestone Hospital, Morris said he helped expand WellStar’s campus and its continued growth into the northwest area.

Morris said everyone in the city benefits from the facility’s quality medical care.

Community projects

Morris, who works part-time as a bailiff at the Cobb County Superior Court, has a real estate license, worked 25 years selling building supplies, and was a Section 8 home inspector for two years.

But, Morris said he always wanted to serve the city of Marietta.

“I learned at an early age, because my father and grandfather both served on the City Council, how important it is to give back to your community,” Morris said.

Dye has served on the Cobb Landmarks Historical Society Board and Marietta Pilgrimage Tour of Homes Committee, but said operating a business through the bad economy has been one of his proudest achievements.

Dye is the owner of Court Makers Inc. on Marble Mill Road, Georgia’s largest tennis court-manufacturing company.

“I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit,” Dye said. “I believe the success of Court Makers Inc. has to do with never becoming complacent.”

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