ROSWELL, Ga. — Roswell voters will see contested races for City Council across the ballot on Election Day, Nov. 5. 

The Alpharetta-Roswell Herald reached out to all candidates and asked for a brief introduction. Here are their responses:


Post 1


Donald J. Horton

With 30 years in the financial services industry, I have the corporate experience to understand budgets and strategic planning. Presently, I am serving on the boards of Roswell Rotary and Friends of Mimosa Hall, and I am also a commissioner with the Housing Authority of Fulton County. I am an active elder at Roswell Presbyterian Church, and chair of the Roswell Arts Fund. 

I am passionate about the future of Roswell. I believe we must adapt and innovate to grow and prosper. I want to protect our Historic District by implementing the recommendations of the Historic District Master Plan.


Marcelo Zapata


I´ve lived in Roswell for the last 19 years with my wife and daughter. I´m a small business owner, with a degree in international business and a master’s degree in business administration.

I’m running for my second term to continue standing for our community at large, as demonstrated over the past four years, and to continue promoting innovative commercial and recreational destination places on our commercial corridors. My commitment to the Roswell community is reflected in my consistent community-oriented voting record, representing the unheard voices at City Hall and advocating for a responsible, conservative budget and millage rate.


Post 2


Michael Palermo (incumbent)

I fell in love with Roswell because of its historic charm, parks and neighborhoods. I received my MBA from Emory and have worked in corporate financial services for 13 years. 

I ran for City Council in 2015 because developer interests were being prioritized over citizen and neighborhood interests. My record shows that I voted successfully to protect our existing neighborhoods from high density. 

In my second term, I want to continue to represent residents and bring their vision to Roswell’s strategic plan. I support redevelopment for our commercial areas, and I want to eliminate pay-to-play zoning.


Geoff Smith

I am a mortgage banker who has volunteered in North Fulton for the last 20 years, doing everything from serving as a volunteer firefighter to chairing committees on economic development and education. I work with teams of talented people to improve our community. I was born in Roswell, and we are raising our family here. 

I want to bring a servant leadership style to Post 2 in Roswell, which it has been missing the last four years. I also want to spur improvements along the Holcomb Bridge corridor by making it look more like Roswell and feel more like home. 


Post 3


Keith Goeke

For 22 years, Roswell has been my home, where I have successfully owned and operated a small business.  

As former Homeowner’s Association President of Hollyberry, I oversaw projects to improve neighborhood assets, traffic calming measures and community involvement.

My desire to serve — as well as 10 years as a naval aviator, instructor, legal officer and mission leader — taught me critical skills I can leverage on the City Council. 

We need to build a vision that incorporates Roswell’s history, yet becomes the clear choice for businesses wanting to make Roswell their home. It’s time we bring transparency and trust back into city leadership.


Christine Hall

I am the chief financial officer for the Atlanta BizOps division of CliftonLarsonAllen. I have earned my MBA and bachelor’s in economics. I have also been actively engaged in Roswell for over 20 years with our schools, charitable initiatives and issues like zoning and traffic. I vote regularly. 

Roswell’s residents deserve balanced representation on council that is aligned with their interests and concerns. We need to enhance our designated commercial areas with destination places and businesses. I want to protect what we love about Roswell, grow with a sensible strategy, while operating our city in a fiscally conservative manner.


Lisa Holland

I retired from the Roswell Police Department after 35 years. As the spokesperson for the past 10 years, I provided open and honest communication to residents and ensured we maintained the highest level of public safety in our community. I served as a patrol officer, field training officer, detective and community relations officer.  

When I learned that there was an open seat on City Council, I thought this was a perfect opportunity to continue my commitment to Roswell. I will work to revitalize our commercial corridors, while keeping Roswell’s unique character and charm. I pledge to continue my commitment to public safety. 


Kay Howell

My name is Dr. Kay Howell. As an expert in process improvement, I advise both domestic and international companies to streamline costs and improve company performance. I have assisted both private and public sector leaders in solving problems and improving their company environments. 

I am running, because I love Roswell. I have listened to people over the last few years as well as on the campaign trail. I understand that we need leaders to listen and understand the needs of the community. A vote for me will always be a vote for the needs of the people in our community. 


Municipal Judge


Brian Hansford


Roswell has been my family’s home for nearly 20 years. While Roswell maintains its small-town charm, our city has grown to almost 100,000 residents. Roswell’s increasing size presents challenges that require an experienced judge to manage its court.  

Since my election in 2014 as Roswell’s Chief Judge, I’ve changed how the court operates to better serve the citizens of our community. I’d be honored to continue that work

I have 12 years of perspective as a municipal judge, five years as Roswell’s Chief Judge, 20 years of overall legal expertise, and I am a veteran of the United States Army.  


Philip Mansell

I was taught at a very young age it is better to give than receive. I am a fifth generation Roswellian and I want the opportunity to give back to the city. 

As judge, my top priority is to always administer justice impartially. My second priority is to ensure everyone who comes before the City of Roswell is given my full attention and treated with dignity and respect. My third priority is to work closely with the real heroes of Roswell, the Roswell Police Department, to keep our city safe, but still inviting. I want our children to inherit a safe, welcoming and loving community.


The last day for citizens to register and be eligible to vote in the 2019 General Election is Oct. 7.  Early voting will run Oct. 15-Nov. 1, with weekend voting on Oct. 26. 

Early voting locations this year include the Alpharetta Library, East Roswell Library, Milton Library and Roswell City Hall. 

Voters can check their registration status and polling location at

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