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Posted: October 9, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Biggs, Callahan run for Social Circle spots

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John Callahan, District 3 school board candidate

Social Circle may be small, but the races for mayor and school board have drawn many contenders this year.

Joel Biggs
One of four men who have thrown their hat in the mayor's race, Joel Biggs, 30, said he decided to run for mayor for many reasons, the two most important being his desire to make a difference in the community and to give the citizens a choice.

"I believe that in order for some changes to be made there needs to be someone new in the mayoral position who can introduce fresh new ideas and practical changes to the council for a vote. I chose not to run for council because in my opinion there is already a good candidate running in my district," he said.

"I am a citizen of this community that wants what is best for the other citizens in this community. I am only in this for the good of the people, and I am not running to benefit personally from being elected. I want to see transparency in government. I want the citizens to have a say as to how their tax dollars are being spent and the comfort of knowing that the local government is acting on their behalf. I want to make sure that there is no wasted money and that each service has the proper amount of funding, even if it means redistributing funds to ensure that the tax dollars are spent in appropriate fashion according to the needs of the city.

"I want to work to keep the taxes low and budget accordingly to lower them without sacrificing needful services."

Biggs is a high school graduate and currently a business major in college. He doesn't work as he is enrolled in college full-time, but said he is seeking office to better the community. He has more than 10 years of management experience and has worked in construction, warehousing and distribution.

"I have also have experience in ministry, customer service, budgeting materials and managing multiple departments of employees as well as being directly responsible for millions of dollars of inventory monthly," he said.

Biggs and his wife, Elizabeth, have three children, two boys, ages 17 and 8 and a 15-month-old girl. They are active members of Monroe Church of God.

John M. Callahan
John M. Callahan is running for the District 3 seat for the Social Circle School Board. One of three candidates, Callahan said he was encouraged to run by other citizens of Social Circle.

"I have two daughters in our school system. My mother is a retired professional educator. My brother is currently a public school teacher. I believe it is my civic duty to do my share as it relates to helping Social Circle have the very best school system possible," said Callahan.

Callahan is currently employed as a fleet consulting manager for Wheels Inc., a fleet management company. He provides data analysis and recommendations to corporations in an effort to help them run their vehicle fleets more efficiently and has worked there for the last six years. He has worked in the same industry for more than 25 years, including working for four Fortune 500 companies.

Callahan is currently on the Keep Social Circle Clean committee. He has also served on the Downtown Revitalization Committee.

"I believe the number one priority for Social Circle City schools should always be centered on making sure our students are prepared for life after high school. I think the issues facing our school system are not very different from the issues facing many public school systems in this country. I expect there will continue to be less and less funding available for public education. This will require us to be as innovative and forward thinking as possible," he said.

"I believe my business background will help me provide valuable input as our school system continues to adapt to these changing economic conditions without sacrificing the quality of education received by our students. One of my desires is to get the citizens in District 3 more involved than ever in our school system. I will seek input from and listen closely to the desires of the people I represent should I be elected. I am doing this with a servant's heart. If I am fortunate enough to be elected, then I will donate whatever this position pays back to our school system. I am not taking any campaign donations either as I am self funding my campaign. I think it is important that I am not perceived as having any undue influence from anyone who might have helped out with funding my campaign."

The 50-year-old attended Franklin County High School in Carnesville and graduated from Georgia College in Milledgeville. He and his wife of 27 years (his high school sweetheart) have two daughters in Social Circle City schools. The family attends First Baptist Church.

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