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City Council District 1

Holtze says he’s the man to lead the city

City Council District 1

City Council District 1

Per Holtze

Editor's Note: This is the second in a series profiling the four candidates for the Statesboro City Council District 1 special election.

    When opportunity and a chance to serve calls, history suggests that Statesboro City Council District 1 hopeful Per Holtze answers.
Holtze has become a central figure in Statesboro’s business and downtown communities, thanks, in large part, to a willingness to tackle any and all leadership roles thrown his way.
Holtze has served as the chairman of the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority Board of Directors and as vice chairman of the Executive Board of Directors for the Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber of Commerce — panels on which he still sits.
He was elected to the Safe Haven Board of Directors, made a member of an advisory board with Ogeechee Technical College’s Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management Program, and elected a committee chairman for the Rotary Club of Downtown Statesboro.
Now, he is at it again.
Holtze, 34, has joined a four-man race to represent District 1 on Statesboro City Council.
“I am answering the call to serve,” Holtze said. “Many residents, from all walks of life, sought me out before (former City Councilman) Mr. (Tommy) Blitch’s retirement and especially after, to consider a run for City Council. I am profoundly honored to have a reputation that compels our residents to invite me to help lead the policy and decision-making of our city.
“I enjoy serving our community through church, my business, and important local organizations, and the opportunity for an everyday man like me to play a role in governance is a great privilege of our democracy,” he added.
Holtze will face Phil Boyum, Maurice Jackson, and Jonathan McCollar on ballots in a Nov. 6 special election to fill the seat left vacant by Blitch, who resigned in August.
A downtown business owner  -- he is the general manager and co-owner of Quality Inn and Manny’s Neighborhood Grill -- and active follower of council, Holtze believes he is uniquely qualified for the role.
“City Council is an important function of our city government,” he said. “To make wise decisions that are for the best interest of the community requires someone with intelligence, level-headed reasoning, collaboration with people of different points of view, effective communication, experience in leadership, and, most of all, integrity.
“I believe that I embody these characteristics, and I believe the community agrees, which is why they have placed me in various leadership roles across the community,” he continued. “I am a proven leader, with credibility as a business owner/operator and am validated through my commitments in the community.”
Holtze, who has called District 1 his home for a little more than four years, is married and the father of three. On a list of hobbies and interests, he includes “faith, family time, economics, current events, travel and adventure sports.”
Holtze has been named to the Statesboro Herald’s Top 20 Under 40 (2011), recognized as one of Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber of Commerce Volunteers of the Year (2010) and graduated from Leadership Bulloch and the Georgia Academy of Economic Development.
“Statesboro is a great place to raise a family, where good values and principles of truth have prominence. District 1 is where I call home, it’s where my neighbors live and it’s where my kids go to school. I intend to represent the needs of all our residents and assess which ones we can meet, and how and when they will be met,” he said. “I want to be sure that our district has effective representation that listens to all demographics and works to promote a greater quality of life for our residents.”
The race marks the first time Holtze has sought political office. He hopes to be a unifying factor on council.
“Our City Council has a lot of mixed reviews from residents,” he said. “My intentions are to unify City Council by helping in the solutions process, not the problem process. My vision is that City Council can be an effective problem-solving panel for the future prosperity of Statesboro.
“I would like to see open and cooperative conversation between the city and county governments and the numerous organizations that support our economic and social strength,” he continued. “Collaboration is key to be a community of unity and not division.  I would like to participate in this bridge building process.”
On specific issues, Holtze said he would like to see continued economic development and infrastructural improvements.
“Jobs are important to me. (Council) can make an impact on the economy of Statesboro. We have everything we need locally to sustain an economic recovery,” he said. “I am already a job creator, and I am already educated and involved in economic development; let’s put those skills to work and be business-friendly in a safe and planned way.”
Holtze said he wants to protect property values by having appropriate zoning regulations, promote infill development to protect from sprawl, and keep downtown Statesboro “a focal point of the quintessential Statesboro experience.” 
He said he wants to ensure that the police and fire departments have their staffing and equipment needs met to serve a growing population, and he plans to promote the continued addition of city sidewalks.
In regard to the city’s future, Holtze said he hopes to see Statesboro continue its current growth trends.
“Statesboro is growing, and we need to grow smartly,” he said. “I see a Statesboro that avails stable employment to those who complete school and who choose to either work hard for their employer or work hard for themselves; I see a Statesboro where families can prosper to buy their kids a bike for their birthday and those kids can ride their bikes safely in their neighborhood, and I see a Statesboro where entertainment and recreation options continue to meet the growing needs of our residents to promote a high quality of life.”

Jeff Harrison may be reached at (912) 489-9454.

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