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Posted: July 12, 2011 12:42 p.m.

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Mayor Burgess will not seek reelection

After 14 years in office, Social Circle Mayor Jim Burgess will not seek re-election.

"It's time to let new leadership develop in the community," Burgess said Tuesday. "It's been a great experience. I'm most grateful for the unified city council. I don't think I've ever had to cast a tie breaking vote."

Burgess, 78, also thanked his wife, Madeline, for her advice and support.

He said he was most proud of the strong financial position of the city, the progress that has been made on the bypass road, the wooing of Solo Cup and General Mills and the addition of a new city hall and various parks.

"The big challenge for any new administration will be the revitalization of the downtown. We've done extremely well on the industrial side with General Mills and Solo Cup," he said.

Burgess said he will not actively participate in government unless sought out for advice, but he will continue to reside in Social Circle and plans to reopen his law office. He will also continue to lobby at the state for the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and the City of Savannah and perform mediation for cities.

He worked with the Georgia Municipal Association, an advocacy group for city governments, for 30 years, including 13 as executive director. He also owned his own Atlanta-based private consulting firm, Public Research and Management for 14 years.

Burgess began his career as a city manager in Gastonia, N.C. in 1958, after graduating from the University of North Carolina with a degree in business administration. He then earned a masters degree in public administration from the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Law in Atlanta.

He and Madeline have three children, Lucia, 50, Elizabeth, 48 and James Vance III, 42.

Social Circle Councilman David Keener and retired Social Circle resident Hosea Jackson have both announced bids for mayor. Qualifying will take place the week of Aug. 29.

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