City Council bids farewell to 'tireless' colleague Bruce Hoffman

  • Members of the city council wish Bruce Hoffman (third from left) a fond farewell at his final city council meeting on Monday, Dec. 2. The council presented Hoffman with a plaque in recognition of his eight years of service on the local governmental body.
    Members of the city council wish Bruce Hoffman (third from left) a fond farewell at his final city council meeting on Monday, Dec. 2. The council presented Hoffman with a plaque in recognition of his eight years of service on the local governmental body.

After eight years of service, the Dahlonega city council said goodbye to one of its longtime members when councilman Bruce Hoffman took part in his final meeting as a council member on Monday, Dec. 2.
“Working with Bruce Hoffman has been an extraordinary experience in so many ways,” said council woman JoAnne Taylor. “He brought wisdom, experience, stubbornness, humor and an unique world view to our work together. He will be very much missed as there is no one else we can absolutely rely on to call for adjournment.”
Council man Ron Larson agreed with Taylor and said that Hoffman’s knowledge will be missed.
“Bruce was a steady influence,” said Larson. “He worked well with all others on the council as well as the city manager. His knowledge and input will definitely be missed. He was a professional. His interests were clearly in taking action that would be beneficial to the citizens of Dahlonega. He researched issues and was outspoken with an opinion when issues were discussed.”
Councilman Mitch Ridley, who traded humorous barbs with Hoffman on many occasions, described Hoffman as “a thinker who has a keen ability for the issues.” Ridley also credited Hoffman for starting the Wimpy Mill sidewalk project and the Trail Loop at the reservoir.
Council man Roman Gaddis told Hoffman at the meeting that he was “going to miss hearing how they do things in Tampa.”
Hoffman, who served in law enforcement in the Tampa area, is also credited by many on the council for bringing the city marshal’s office back to the city.
“Bruce brought significant experience to the council in the area of public safety,” Larson said. “His knowledge of law enforcement and security issues was a real asset that will be missed.”
Looking back on his time with the council, Hoffman was pleased with the many projects that he played a part in but remained humble about the role he played over the past eight years.
“When I look back over the past eight years, there have been numerous changes within the city,” said Hoffman. “A lot of positive issues and projects have taken place. The appearance of the city alone has been significant. Many of the individual projects I wanted to see take place have been accomplished. I won’t take credit for them because it took the council members, the mayor and a very competent staff to make them happen.”
Hoffman, who decided not to run for reelection, told The Nugget that eight years was “enough, in one position,” especially given the amount of issues he has seen resolved over the years by the governmental body.
“When I ran eight years ago, the major topic was the relationship between the city and county governments,” Hoffman said. “That isn’t the case now. We have meetings together and update each other on projects. The city and the county relationship with the University of North Georgia is better, more than in the past.”
Despite leaving the council, Hoffman still has a vision for how he thinks the city should move forward after he leaves.
“I would like to see the city annex more unincorporated Lumpkin County,” Hoffman said. “To do this, property owners need to see a benefit by receiving additional services and seeing their property values increase. Consolidation of the city and county always comes up. In the past a few governments have consolidated. However, in recent years, more cities have been created rather than consolidations. For consolidation to take place here it would take an extensive and expensive study. Then the voters would be provided all the facts, figures and costs. The pluses and minuses.”
Hoffman also believes that the size of the council should be reduced in the future.
“I would also like to see the city council  reduce council members from six to four,” Hoffman said. “In my opinion, a city this size doesn’t need six council members. It would also be a costs saving. If it is ever decreased, I then would like to see the city divided into three districts, with one council member at large, along with the mayor. Something similar to the county.”
Although Hoffman is leaving the city council, he is not sure that his career in local government is completely over.
“I have been asked if I might consider running for the county commission’s District 1,” Hoffman said. “If that seat becomes vacant, I may consider it. The primary for that election is not far away.”
In the meantime, Hoffman said that he will still volunteer at the Visitor’s Center, something he has done for the past nine years. Hoffman will also remain on the Lumpkin County Veterans Board and spend time cheering on UNG athletics.
And, if all of that isn’t enough, Hoffman also plans to finish his third book, a private eye fiction novel.  
Hoffman was moved when the council presented him with a plaque in appreciation for his eight years of service a few days after his final city council meeting.
“Known for his candor and common-sense approach, Bruce has always focused on the greater good and demonstrated a true passion for tourism and law enforcement, helping re-instate The Dahlonega Marshal’s Office, His tireless efforts and passion for the community will not be forgotten,” the plaque read.
Hoffman described the current council as “the best council I have been a part of since I started.”