Meet the Other Mayors: Doris Jones, Waleska

On the quiet Cherokee County city’s growth and becoming an accidental politician
Photograph courtesy of Mayor Jones
Photograph courtesy of Mayor Jones

Metro Atlanta comprises 60-plus cities; each month we introduce one municipality and its mayor.

Since winning the 2008 election, septuagenarian Doris A. Jones has been mayor (annual pay: $4,600) of Waleska, a scenic city of 640 residents in northwest Cherokee County. Jones takes pride in Waleska’s main attractions: Reinhardt University and nearby Lake Arrowhead.

State of the city:
We are growing. We have Subway, Dollar General, a grocery store, a beauty salon.

Good neighbors:
It’s just a quiet city. Everybody knows everybody. If somebody’s in trouble, the entire town will help.

Where she takes visitors:
Reinhardt has an awesome place—Falany Performing Arts Center. We have plays and a beautiful music department.

Accidental politician:
I was in long-term healthcare for 42 years. Then [in retirement] I thought I would give back to the community. I started attending city council meetings. I was put on a couple of committees, and all of a sudden I was running for mayor.

Career focused:
I never married; I married my career. I love what I do. I’ve never worked a day being mayor.

This article originally appeared in our March 2015 issue.