By Rebecca Gaunt
Nimesh Patel will fill the post 5 seat on Kennesaw City Council, which was vacated by David Blinkhorn to run in the special election for House district 34.
Blinkhorn’s term runs out at the end 2021. Per Kennesaw Code of Ordinances, since the vacancy occurred with less than 12 months to the expiration of the term of office, mayor and council can appoint a qualified person to complete the term. According to Mayor Derek Easterling, they reviewed several interested individuals. Patel was approved 4-0 and administered the oath of office Monday.
This isn’t Patel’s first time to serve in this capacity. In 2016, he took over the post 3 position that was vacated when Leonard Church, a former mayor and council member, pleaded guilty to child molestation. He did not run for reelection at the end of that term.
Patel, his wife Jennifer, and their two children live in Kennesaw. He is originally from Lakeland, Florida, but Kennesaw has been his home since 2000. His community involvement includes serving on the HOA for Legacy Park, helping establish the foundations for Big Shanty Elementary and Awtrey Middle Schools, serving as a member of the Kennesaw Mountain Magnet Foundation and on the Kennesaw License Review Board.
He resigned from the Kennesaw Development Authority to take the post 5 position, but will now serve as the council liaison with the KDA.
Patel is an assistant vice president and managing counsel with Unum Group and leads a team of attorneys and compliance professionals that specialize in insurance and employee benefits law, including the ERISA, tax and commercial laws applicable to employer-sponsored welfare benefit plans and worksite insurance offerings, according to the Kennesaw city website.
“I’m excited to be back. Humbled and honored to be considered for this role. I look forward to working with the mayor and council, as well as the wonderful staff we have here at the city,” Patel said during council comments.
Rebecca Gaunt earned a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in education from Oglethorpe University. After teaching elementary school for several years, she returned to writing. She lives in Marietta with her husband, son, two cats, and a dog. In her spare time, she loves to read, binge Netflix and travel.