Mickey O’Malley is stepping down from his post on the Ball Ground City Council to spend more of his retirement traveling with his family, he said.
The councilman briefly announced Thursday that he would not be seeking re-election. Wednesday, he shared more details with the Tribune and reflected on his time in public office.
After helping shape Ball Ground into the city it is today, O’Malley said he believed it was time for him to step aside from the council.
“My wife and I are completely retired now,” he said. “Our plans are to get out and travel, go visit family.”
During his three terms as a council member beginning in 2009, O’Malley, 65, said some of his greatest accomplishments included the development of sidewalks and other improvements along Valley Street, the establishment of the city’s botanical garden and bringing a sewer system into the city, providing more opportunities to bring in businesses. The councilman said he is most proud of his service as the head of the city’s parks and recreation committee, during which it used a $1 million grant to develop the downtown amphitheater that can seat between 200 and 300 people, as well as upgrading the city’s athletic fields. O’Malley also said he was extremely proud of having been able to build a partnership with the softball programs at Creekview High School and Creekland Middle School, with the Junior Grizzlies teams using city fields for practice and a handful of games in the fall.
“I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot,” he said.
Mayor Rick Roberts said he felt O’Malley was one of the strongest council members, being heavily involved and always being a reliable councilman.
“He always did a great job. I’ll miss him being on the council,” Roberts said.
As the qualifying period for Ball Ground city elections approaches, O’Malley said he would love to see someone run who is young and who, like him, takes parks and recreation to heart.