City of Dahlonega Mayor & Council

The government of the City of Dahlonega is vested in a City Council composed of a Mayor and six Council Members. Each member will serve a four-year term of office. To be eligible to serve as Mayor or Council member, the candidate must be a resident of the city for a period of one year immediately prior to the date of the election and continue to reside within the city during the period of service.

To be a candidate for Mayor or City Council, one must be registered and qualified to vote in the municipal election of the City of Dahlonega and must meet the qualification standards required by the Georgia House of Representatives as of now, or may in the future, be prescribed by the Georgia Constitution.

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

Mayor

The Mayor is elected the Chief Executive Officer of the City of Dahlonega. They possess all of the executive and administrative powers granted to the city under the Constitution and laws of the State of Georgia, and all the executive and administrative powers contained in the City Charter. The Mayor presides at all meetings of the council, votes as a member of the council only at such times as are necessary to break a tie or deadlock of the council, to be the official head of the City for the service of process and for ceremonial purposes, has the power to administer oaths and to take affidavits, sign all written contracts entered into by the council on behalf of the City and all other contracts and instruments executed by the City which by law are required to be in writing, sees that all laws and ordinances of the City are faithfully executed, and performs other duties as may be required by law, the City Charter or ordinance or as otherwise directed by the City Council.

JoAnne Taylor
Mayor

Serving the community is a passion for me. Dahlonega is a wonderful place to call home! My priorities include:

• Preserving Dahlonega’s unique “sense of place”, retaining the welcoming small-town feel and ambiance of our incredible community
• Fiscal responsibility – ensure that your tax dollars are being used wisely in the best interest of the total community
• Rebuilding infrastructure: most folks don’t care about pipes, roads, etc. until they do!
• Regular maintenance and enhancement is a responsibility of government which can be easy to ignore but requires constant vigilance and investment.
• Addressing inevitable growth appropriately. Keep the look and feel of our award-winning downtown.
• Supporting business through improvements in city processes and promptness.

Ken and I have lived in Dahlonega since 2004, been property owners and taxpayers since 2000. I had the great opportunity to participate in the Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Lumpkin program in 2009, shortly after I retired. Past and present volunteer roles include:

• Trustee for Retirement, Employee Benefits, Workers Comp Funds for Georgia Municipal Association
• 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
• Corporate Board member with Connect North Georgia
• Past President of the Community Helping Place
• Currently a volunteer mentor in the Lumpkin County School System
• Currently Vice-Chair of the North Georgia Interfaith Ministry Jeremiah’s Place.
• Received Kids First recognition from Family Connection in 2018.
• All net earnings from my role on City Council are/have been donated to local charities.

After a 32-year career with IBM, I retired from my position as Vice President in the Global Telecommunications Industry. I hold a BA in English Literature from Mercy College and am a Certified Sales Executive. My career was extensive and interesting, I held many different positions including global executive and line management, applications development, systems programming, systems engineering, and large systems specialist. When I’m not busy in the community, I enjoy spending time with family, reading (a passion!), playing golf, baking bread and preserving, and spending time outdoors. I’m very appreciative of the opportunity to serve in a community that I love!

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. To contact all members of the Dahlonega City Council, please direct your messages to: council@dahlonega.gov

Roman Gaddis
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.

Ross Shirley
Ross Shirley
Post 2

Ross Shirley Post 2
Elected 2022

Ross graduated from North Georgia College (now UNG) and was commissioned as a 2LT in the US Army field artillery branch, where he served three years of active duty and several more in the Georgia National Guard. He worked as an analyst and supervisor at Georgia Power Company for 32 years prior to his retirement.

He and his wife Evelyn have lived in Dahlonega for 6 years. They live just a short walk from the square and enjoy the amenities associated with living close to the downtown section of Dahlonega. They own a short-term rental property. He serves on the board of directors for the North Georgia Cadet Corp Association. Leisure activities include visiting with family and friends, travel, and outdoor activities such as boating, fishing, and hunting. They have two children and three grandchildren.

Ryan Reagin
Post 3
Johnny Ariemma
Johnny Ariemma
Post 4

Johnny Ariemma, Post 4
Elected 2020

Councilman Ariemma is a long-time resident of Dahlonega, nearly 26-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 a 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 principal 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 provide a well-needed point of view on City Council.

Lance Bagley
Post 5

Lance and his family moved to Dahlonega in 2018. Lance first passed thru Dahlonega in 1989 while completing Ranger School. His middle daughter and son-in-law are both UNG alumni, so his family has been frequent visitors to Dahlonega throughout the years. They knew they wanted to live in the Gold City, so they found the opportunity to move to Dahlonega during a transition between jobs.
Lance is a graduate of the United States Military Academy and has an MBA from the University of Oregon. He is a former Army infantry officer and Airborne Ranger. Over the past 30 years, he has worked in numerous leadership positions in sales, operations, and customer management and is currently a global sales director. Since 2018, his family has started two businesses in Dahlonega, a Bed & Breakfast and a retail store in the historic square. Lance is an active member of the Dahlonega Sunrise Rotary, and in his spare time, he enjoys volunteering at The Holly Theater and other events throughout Lumpkin County. He is proud to serve on the City Council to continue to make Dahlonega a great place to live, work, play, and visit.

Ron Larson, Post 6
Elected 2016

Serving in his second four-year term, Councilman Larson’s desire to promote the welfare and advancement of our community is evident as he currently serves as Executive Secretary and former Past President of the Dahlonega Sunrise Rotary Club, was a former member of the University of North Georgia Foundation, currently serves as Treasurer of the Community Helping Place, formerly a Board Member of the Holly Theater and formerly a member of the Advisory Board to the Mike Cottrell College of Business at 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 being 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. He is a member of St. Peter Lutheran Church in Dahlonega.

Since 2007 Councilman Larson calls Dahlonega “Home” with his lovely wife of 51 years, Linda.