The City Council

The corporate powers of the government of the City of Dahlonega are exercised by the Dahlonega City Council. The Dahlonega City Council is responsible for enacting ordinances, resolutions, and regulations governing the City. Forty-nine specific powers of the city are enumerated in the City Charter, including the following: levy and collection of property taxes, license fees, franchise fees, beer and wine taxes, miscellaneous permit fees, hotel/motel taxes, and sales taxes.

Contact the Mayor & Council
Use the link above to send an email message to the mayor and councilmembers.

Department Contacts

Roman Gaddis
Post 1

Roman Gaddis, Post 1
Elected 2014

Councilman Gaddis is a native of Dahlonega/Lumpkin County, therefore, his interest in the City of Dahlonega is strong and runs deep. He enjoys being an active member of the community, and he is somewhat of a local celebrity as a musician playing mandolin with the local band Ugly Cousin.

Presently he serves as an active member of the University of North Georgia Alumni Association Board as well as a Sigma Chi Fraternity Chapter Advisor.

Councilman Gaddis brings immense knowledge, skill, and talent to the City of Dahlonega as he holds a BBA in Finance from the University of North Georgia and a Master of Education in Instructional Design and Development from the University of Georgia.

As Executive Director of Technology for Dawson County Schools and former Global Product Specialist for Pearson/PowerSchool, his professional experiences paired with his zest for innovative technologies aids in creating strategic plans for development and growth within Dahlonega.

Joel Cordle
Post 2

Appointed 2021

Joel is a native of North Georgia and settled in Dahlonega 20 years ago. He retired in 2016 from the City of Dahlonega after serving as its Downtown Development Authority/Main Street Director for 10 years. During his tenure, Dahlonega earned the prestigious Great American Main Street Award from the National Main Street Center in 2016 and the Award for Excellence in Downtown Development from the Georgia Downtown Association in 2010.
As a member of the City Council, Joel holds Dahlonega’s history and prosperity as top priorities. His focus is on protecting and supporting the city’s assets, while planning for future assets that are appropriate and sustainable. His professional experience and training include 36 years of work in local and state government and expert community and economic development.
Joel is a graduate of the University of Georgia where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a post-graduate certification in local government management. He also earned certification from the Georgia Downtown Association as a Senior Downtown Development Professional. Since his retirement, Joel has led 30 Georgia cities, as a professional consultant, in planning and implementing their downtown preservation and economic revitalization programs.
Before moving to Dahlonega, Joel worked for Athens-Clarke County Government as the Arts Administrator for 16 years, during which he was responsible for programs, facilities, personnel, budget, construction and maintenance, public relations, and grants.
Joel has served as a volunteer for local and state organizations, including president of the Georgia Downtown Association, founding board member of the Georgia Pick & Bow Traditional Music School, member of the Bear on the Square Festival Committee, and ex-officio member of the Dahlonega-Lumpkin Chamber of Commerce board of directors; in addition, he served on boards of the University of North Georgia Appalachian Studies Center, Lumpkin County High School Career Technology & Agricultural Education, the University of North Georgia Visual Arts Advisory Council, and the Georgia Assembly of Community Arts Agencies.

Mitchell Ridley
Post 3

Mitchell Ridley, Post 3
Elected 2014

A native of Dahlonega, Councilman Ridley has an extensive history in serving the community in various capacities. Currently, he is a member of the Blue Mountain Lodge #38, actively volunteering and supporting a multitude of events throughout the community. He is a former Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Jaycee and member of the Historical Preservation Commission and is truly community driven. This involvement has a positive impact on both his personal life and the community. It also influences those around him as he leads by example.

As Owner and Creative Director of the local beauty salon, Hairworks, he keeps the citizens of Dahlonega looking their best. Possessing a natural artistic talent, he combines art and science to create unique styles and personalized treatments. Thirty-eight years’ operating a business, he recognizes the importance of delivering quality services and ethical leadership.

In his downtime, Councilman Ridley enjoys vegetable gardening, camping and travels with his wife Shay, their three children and four grandchildren, all whom reside in Dahlonega. His life truly demonstrates that Dahlonega is a city in which to live, work & play.

Johnny Ariemma
Post 4

Johnny Ariemma, Post 4
Elected 2020

Councilman Ariemma is a long-time resident of Dahlonega, nearly 25-years. Both he and wife Catherine of 34-years raised their daughters in Dahlonega and the Lumpkin County School System and are active in the community. As an entrepreneur and businessman, Ariemma had the opportunity to retire from the corporate world nearly two decades ago. This allowed him to invest in Dahlonega. His property holdings include several commercial properties, including city businesses consisting of a hotel and private villas for overnight guests, and an event facility. This is Ariemma’s second time to serve on the council.

Ariemma is a graduate of Northwood University with BBA in Management / Computer Science and Finance. His work career has been primarily in the Automotive Refinishing industry. In 1995 he co-founded and was a principle owner of Single Source Inc, which is a national distributor for automotive refinishing products. Councilman Ariemma is currently active as a board member for the St. Vincent DePaul Society, providing much assistance to the needy of our community. As the founder of the Michigan Epsilon chapter of Phi Delta Theta international fraternity, councilman Ariemma is also the Chapter Advisory Board chairman and chapter advisor for the newly chartered Phi Delta Theta chapter at the University of North Georgia.

When the councilman is not riding motorcycles across the US and Canada, his love and passion are for his growing family (he just became a grandfather), and historic preservation and keeping Dahlonega’s historic properties maintained. His practical business sense and love for Dahlonega provides a well-needed point of view on City Council.

JoAnne Taylor
Post 5

JoAnne Taylor, Post 5
Elected 2017

Residing in Dahlonega with her husband Ken since 2004, Councilmember Taylor is an Alumni
of Leadership Lumpkin Class of 2009. She has previously served the community as a volunteer
with the Lumpkin County Literacy Coalition, Secretary of the Joint Development Authority of
Dawson, Lumpkin and White Counties, Vice Chair of the Development Authority of Lumpkin
County, and as a Corporate Board member with Connect North Georgia. She is Past President of the Community Helping Place, a volunteer mentor in the Lumpkin County School System and currently vice-chair of the North Georgia Interfaith Ministry Jeremiah’s Place. She received Kids First recognition from Family Connection in 2018. All net earnings from her role on City Council are donated to local charities.

During the Georgia Municipal Association’s (GMA) annual meeting on July 2, 2020,
Councilmember Taylor was elected first vice president for GMA District 2, putting her in line to
succeed as president of the district. In this role, Taylor will serve as a liaison between GMA and
municipal officials in GMA’s District 2. Currently, she is president-elect of District 2. She also
serves on GMA’s Legislative Policy Committee. GMA is the only state organization that
represents municipal governments in Georgia. Based in Atlanta, GMA is a voluntary, non-profit
organization that provides legislative advocacy, educational, employee benefit and technical
consulting services to its members. GMA currently represents all cities in Georgia.

She will also attend GMA-sponsored events, including the association’s annual convention;
promote engagement in GMA activities and programs with other cities in the district; advocate
for GMA’s legislative priorities; and share with GMA staff any needs and concerns of member
cities in their district. As the District First Vice President, Taylor will also serve on the GMA
Board of Directors.

Councilmember Taylor has served our community in several capacities as her way of “giving
back”. After a 32-year career with IBM, she retired from her position of Vice President in the
Global Telecommunications Industry. She holds a BA in English Literature from Mercy College
and is a Certified Sales Executive. Her extensive career included positions in global executive
and line management, applications development, systems programming, systems engineering and large systems.

Along with her service to our community she also enjoys time with her family, reading, observing birds in their natural habitat, singing choral music, traveling, golf and baking bread. Councilmember Taylor is very appreciative of the opportunity to serve in a community that she
loves!

Ron Larson, Post 6
Elected 2016

Serving a four-year term, Councilman Larson’s desire to promote the welfare and advancement of our community is evident as he currently serves as the President of the Dahlonega Sunrise Rotary Club, former member of the University of North Georgia Finance Committee, former Treasurer and President of the Community Helping Place, Board Member of the Holly Theater, and member of the Advisory Board to the College of Business with the University of North Georgia.

Councilman Larson possesses a BBA in Accounting and MBA in Finance from Pacific Lutheran University. His former professional experiences include General Manager of Achasta Golf Course, Director of Philanthropy with Liberty Lutheran Services and CFO of Spartan Organization. Presently Ron is a part-time Lecturer at the University of North Georgia.

Since 2007 Councilman Larson calls Dahlonega “Home” with his lovely wife of 48 years, Linda.

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