Current council member Marcelo Zapata and former council member Don Horton are running against each other for council post 1 this election.
Former council member Don Horton has lived in Roswell for 33 years. The 71-year-old investment consultant was on the council, but stepped down to take his shot at mayor. Now, he is returning to the race and said he was proud of his time on city council.
“My first vote was for the city to purchase the Southern Skillet property so we could take control of its ultimate redevelopment,” Horton said. “I also helped secure a conservation loan for the purchase of the (Seven Branches) property for a low rate of 1/2 of 1%. This was a great addition to our park system which is a great benefit to the East side of Roswell.”
Horton says his biggest goals are to hire a Town Architect to ensure appropriate development in Roswell, work to encourage commercial property owners to revitalize outdated and underutilized areas of the city and to work closely with the Department of Transportation to incorporate “Smart City Technologies” to help with traffic congestion.
Horton said he believes that some of the biggest issues Roswell faces include balancing the tax base and preserving Roswell’s history. Horton says he plans to recruit new businesses, adopt the recommendations of the Historic District Master Plan and hire the Town Architect who would take a strategic view of the city.
Age: 71 Occupation: Investment Consultant/Owner of Registered Investment Advisory Firm Years of Residency in Roswell: 33 Relevant Experience: 30 Years Financial Services Industry, 10 Years as President of an HOA, Roswell Initiative for Community Housing, Member of boards of directors for Roswell Rotary, Friends of Mimosa Hall, Chair of the Roswell Arts Fund, Member of the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, Commissioner for the Housing Authority of Fulton County, Previously served on Roswell City Council.
Incumbent council member Marcelo Zapata has lived in Roswell for 19 years and has spent the last four years on city council. The 50-year-old owns a small wine distribution company and has his MBA from Bocconi University.
During his time in office, Zapata has voted on improvements to the Unified Development Code to protect well established neighborhoods, initiated a resolution to protect Big Creek Park, encouraged the acquisition of Mimosa Hall and Seven Branches Legacy Park and helped advance the creation of Roswell FireLabs (makerspace).
Zapata says his top priorities for the city are transportation and traffic, maintaining and updating Roswell’s extensive park system and “protecting the character and functionality of our diverse well established neighborhoods, avoiding projects that are out character in terms of mass and scale, and avoiding neighborhood cut-through roads.”
“We need to develop unique and innovative commercial and recreational destination places on our commercial corridors,” Zapata said. “To resolve this challenge, we need to create a Roswell Economic Development Department with professional capabilities and experience to successfully coordinate efforts and actions among many different chamber of commerce and economic development institutions in the county, state, region and country, as well as reporting and being accountable directly to all elected officials.”
Occupation: Small Business Owner
Years in Living in the city: 19 years
Number of Years Served: Fourth year serving first term on Roswell City Council. MBA from Bocconi University. Bachelors degree in International Business from Champagnat University. 18 years as a small business owner.
Both candidates believe they have what it takes to serve the city from council post 1. The last day for citizens to register and be eligible to vote in the 2019 general election is Oct. 7. Early voting begins Oct. 15, with Election Day falling on Nov. 5.