Ireland takes open Suwanee city council spot



SUWANEE -- Residents of Suwanee elected a new mayor Tuesday, with long-time councilman Jimmy Burnette taking the vote to replace Dave Williams. They also elected Doug Ireland to City Council Post 1.

Ireland, a political newcomer, took the vote with 804 votes compared to opponent Jimmy Spiro's 474. The 38-year-old owner of Freeland Painting & Construction could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but said in a previous interview with the Daily Post that he wanted to continue the leadership that has made Suwanee successful.

✓ Jimmy Burnett


Dan Pittman


Suwanee City Council Post 1

✓ Doug Ireland


Jimmy Spiro


"Suwanee has been run very, very efficiently," he said. "There are no big pressing issues that I see. What I see is a continuation of the same leadership that's been displayed for the last decade."

Ireland is a father of one and graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor's degree in marketing, distribution management and international business. Other than a two-month stint on Suwanee's planning and zoning board -- which ended when he announced his candidacy for city council -- he has no political experience, but said he's been heavily involved with the city since moving there eight years ago.

Ireland has been on the steering committee for Suwannee's "20/20 Vision" and the annual Suwanee Day festival.

"My involvement with the city was already pretty strong, and they needed someone to step in and join the team," Ireland said. "It was the right time to step up to the plate and go for it."

Incumbent Dick Goodman ran unopposed for his council spot, collecting 1,046 votes.

The city was also one of many in Gwinnett to pass a referendum regarding Sunday alcohol sales, with an overwhelming 1,023 "yes" votes to only 341 "no" votes. Suwanee's referendum was worded to include the sale of "packaged alcohol, including malt beverages, wine, and distilled spirits from 12:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. on Sunday."