City Council members are elected “at large” and serve as liaisons to city departments as assigned by the Mayor. One Council member serves as Mayor Pro-Tem, determined by a vote of all five members. The Mayor Pro-Tem assumes all the duties and powers of the Mayor in his/her absence.
The City Council executes all rights and powers granted the city through its city charter under the self-governing provisions of the Constitution and laws of the State of Georgia. The duties of the City Council include approving all city expenditures, setting the millage rate for property taxes, approving the city’s budget, passing ordinances, establishing policies and procedures, and hearing all rezoning and annexation requests.
Council Post 1
Term Expires 2015
Council member Cris Eaton-Welsh grew up in Orlando but has lived in Kennesaw for 24 years. She graduated from Kennesaw State University in 1995 with a BBA in Accounting and worked briefly for a commercial developer before returning to Life University to earn her Doctorate in 2000. She then entered private practice as a chiropractor.
Cris’ civic involvement is long and distinguished. She has been a Kennesaw Business Association board member, attended Leadership Cobb, was a fund raiser for ovarian cancer research and chaired the Kennesaw Development Authority, a post she resigned when she was elected to the City Council. She won re-election to a four year term in 2011.
Cris and her husband Steve have two daughters, Isabelle and Shelby. She is an avid runner and participated in the Marine Corps marathon in Washington DC. She also enjoys riding motorcycles and traveling. She finds working to create a great city for her children to be personally rewarding, but regrets it takes time away from her family. A self-professed “geek”, Cris’ favorite quote comes from Star Wars’ Yoda: “Do or do not, there is no try.”
Cris currently chairs the Cobb Chamber Health Committee. In 2013, she was invited to a White House event hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama celebrating Kennesaw’s outstanding efforts to complete health and wellness goals for Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC). She co-founded the Kennesaw Grand Prix 5K series that promotes and shapes active lifestyles and has put over $300k back into the city after covering expenses.
Council Post 2
Term Expires 2015
Tim Killingsworth is originally from Denton, Texas. The son of a Southern Baptist Minister of Music, Tim attended high school in Birmingham, Alabama. He worked briefly for the Coca Cola Company as a route salesman, then left to pursue a career in the United States Marine Corps. While serving in the Marines as an aviation mechanic and aircrew member, Tim was medically retired in 1995. He has lived in Kennesaw since 1996, where he started working as an executive recruiter; he opened his own firm in 2002 and now performs local consulting work.
Tim’s civic involvement began with service as the Chairman of the License Review Board in 2002, resigning when he was elected to the Kennesaw City Council in 2007 where he currently serves his second term.
Tim finds great reward in making a positive impact for the citizens of Kennesaw. He enjoys working with community schools, speaking with classes and judging contests at their events. It’s not uncommon to see him at high school football games cheering on the local team. He often helps groups coordinate local events and is an advisor for the City’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. As a former Marine, he is also deeply entrenched in the Kennesaw veteran community, serving on local veteran’s committees and boards. He is a member of the American Legion and is especially proud to have spearheaded Kennesaw’s annual event on Veteran’s Day which offers free lunches to vets.
Tim and his wife Lynne have two daughters, Joy and Amy. His favorite pastimes are golfing, fishing, singing, watching University of Alabama football and spending quiet time with friends.
His current advisory positions include Cobb County Safe Kids; Congressman Tom Price’s Military Advisory Council; Kennesaw State University’s Veteran’s Recruitment Advisory Committee; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration Committee; Smith-Gilbert Gardens Foundation.
Council Post 3
Term Expires 2017
Council member Leonard Church grew up in Cobb County and graduated from Sprayberry High School. He attended dental technology school and upon graduation, started working at dental labs in Griffin and Marietta before opening his own business, Church Dental Prosthetics, in Kennesaw in 1987. He has worked in the dental field for 45 years and has served on the State Board of the Georgia Dental Laboratory Association. In 1994, he moved to Kennesaw and so began his love affair with the city.
Leonard’s civic involvement began with his interest in running for and winning election as Mayor in 1999. He served two terms, and during that time, he completed over 150 hours of government continuing education courses through the Georgia Municipal Association and University of Georgia. He was the president of the Cobb Municipal Association for two years, served on the Atlanta Regional Commission for six years, and was Vice President of the GMA 3rd District Caucus. He completed the Cobb Leadership Program in 2007. He was elected to the City Council in November 2013 and took office in January 2014.
Council Post 4
Term Expires 2017
Debra Williams grew up in South Carolina. She married her husband Ken in 1981 and lived in Charlotte, NC. She received her Professional Certification in Travel and Tourism from Lucas Travel School in 1984. In 1999, she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications from Auburn University and was hired by the American Red Cross of Central Alabama as their Public Relations Specialist. She subsequently was hired as Public Relations Director for the Alabama State Council on the Arts. In 2002, her family moved to Kennesaw and she opened Total PR, her own public relations and marketing agency.
Debra is no stranger to volunteer and civic participation. While actively involved in her sons’ PTAs, she progressed to a leadership position as president of the Montgomery County Council of PTAs. Her professional experience in campaign management led to her get more involved in Kennesaw politics and she began by serving on the Planning Commission in 2010, before being elected to the City Council in 2013.
Debra and Ken, their two sons Adam and Luke, and one “daughter-in-love” Lauren, enjoy spending time together biking, hiking, camping, skating, zip-lining, rafting, and playing outdoor games. Debra’s indoor activities include sewing, crafting, playing guitar and piano, working puzzles, and reading. As a huge pet lover, you can find her walking her two fur-babies Levi and Dyna at Swift Cantrell Park, Kennesaw Mountain, or Red Top Mountain.
The best advice she received and lives by today came from her Dad: “Know who you are, know what you believe in, do your homework, stand in and for your convictions, and never make it about you personally.”
Council Post 5
Term Expires 2017
Council member Jim Sebastian grew up in the suburbs of Detroit. He received his Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan, and moved to Cobb County in 1976. He briefly lived in Marietta while he built the Kennesaw home on Cherokee Street where he still resides. He began work as a design engineer, added software and data processing skills to his resume, and developed a 35 year history of management experience. He is currently a managing partner and owner of a consulting, administration and brokering firm which specializes in manufacturer product warranties and retail service contracts. In 1989, he completed his Masters Degree in Business Administration at Kennesaw State University, graduating with honors. He has also taught graduate and undergraduate business students at the University of Phoenix, providing guidance and imparting real-world experience.
Jim’s civic involvement began when he signed up for the newly formed Kennesaw Citizens Advisory Committee. Formed in 2010, the committee is composed of concerned citizens and business people who wanted to learn more about issues and concerns facing local city government, provide their insights, and make recommendations for improvements. From its inception, Jim served as the chair.
Jim’s children Natalie and Ryan both still live in the area. He volunteers time to the Boy Scouts, churches, and special needs groups for children with mental disorders, among others. In his spare time, Jim enjoys exploring hiking trails and caves, biking through town and on trails, kite flying, and driving his convertible with various car clubs.