Note: The following item is one in a series this year to inform you about new candidates (and in this case future City Commissioner) involved in 2023 municipal races in Aragon, Cedartown and Rockmart. These items are being provided for informational purposes as a public service to Polk Today readers.– KtE
Two candidates are in this year’s Cedartown City Commission.
One is a name everyone knows well (especially former CHS students.) The other is a newcomer, but not to the ideals of public service.
Meet Ryan Casey, who starting in January 2024 will be taking over as the time of Commissioner Andrew Carter comes to a close.
This Army vet and lifetime Polk County resident (outside of his military service) came back home after his enlistment and a Home Depot employee is like many who want to give of their time also juggling many aspirations, and is excited to add a new opportunity to be involved.
Casey moved into the city proper in 2021, but has lived in Polk County outside of his time as a forward observer in the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division at Fort Polk, Louisiana. Prior to enlisting, he had served as a volunteer firefighter at the Lake Creek and Prior Station Road stations. Instead he thought about the Army, joined up and did his stint.
“Service was always a part of my family, and it is something I’ve always held close to my heart. From my time with PCVFD to the Army, and now the City of Cedartown, I have always felt the greatest sense of pride when I was involved with any facet of public service,” Casey said. “It is an incredible feeling to serve others, one that isn’t satisfied with other occupations or positions I’ve occupied in the past.”
His enlistment ended in 2018, and Casey in the meantime decided his service wasn’t done. He got a job with The Home Depot and began finding ways that the local store could give back to Polk County. They’ve already completed 6 teamDepot projects this year alone, and have another 6 or so on the schedule.
Some months back when guys were out pressure washing the Veterans Memorial in Cedartown? That was Casey organizing the job. Actually, that’s part of his job at Home Depot as a teamDepot Captain for the teamDepot Foundation. He plans and executes community service projects that are needed to better the community, while also serving as a department supervisor as well.
“This year has been an eye-opening experience as the community captain: because of the nature of volunteer projects, no one there is paid or compensated with anything other than the smiles, hugs, and genuine appreciation for what we can do,” he said. “As a volunteer leader, I can say this: There is no gratification greater than that that’s earned from volunteer work. It is easily one of the most satisfying and fulfilling things I’ve ever experienced, while also greatly benefiting a veteran or someone in need throughout the community. This year, we have already completed 6 teamDepot projects, and have another 6 or so on the schedule.”
He also started a landscape company, Stripes Lawn Care, after getting home as well.
“It takes a lot of time and effort to be a small business owner, and I have the most respect for all of our incredible small business owners throughout the city, as well as all of Polk County,” he said. “Small businesses and their owners are truly the backbone of the country and I am a proud member of that group.”
It was his interest in politics that sparked his desire to qualify, and the opportunity to serve came when Carter decided he wasn’t going to seek a new term.
“My interest in politics has become more resound in recent years,” Casey said. “In my opinion, politics are often shrouded by bias and opinions, when it really should be much more focused on public service. The polarization in modern-day politics is something I believe is dividing us; when we all work together for the greater good of the community, we can accomplish much more for ourselves and our families.”
He added that “Public service is something I am very passionate about due to my past experiences mentioned above, and having the privilege to serve Cedartown as a City Commissioner will be one of my greatest honors to date.”
Though his interest in the community as a whole as a resident like everyone else is what drives him to ensure that the he and his girlfriend Briceyda have plenty to do whether they’re outdoors with Casey’s dog Major hiking or enjoying the Silver Comet Trail, or at various outings around town at places like CHS Football games.
Positive change is what he and the new generation of leaders want to continue to inspire in those who live, work and grow here in Cedartown.
“I like the direction Cedartown has chosen in the past few years, and I want to be able to continue that momentum,” he said. “To continue to bring more small businesses and industry to town, to be able to have nicer places to dine and spend leisure time, and to remodel the old and build the new facilities for the community that we call home. All of this takes money, and taxes here in Cedartown are very friendly.”
“I want to be a part of continuing that Trend, to continue influencing good changes in The City of Cedartown, while keeping the feel of the tight-knit community that we all know and love Cedartown as being,” he added.