Tuesday October 6th, 2015 8:24PM

Political newcomer first to announce run for Gainesville mayor's post

By B.J. Williams News Director
GAINESVILLE - This year will be the first year Gainesville residents will vote on a mayor and as of Friday, there is one official candidate for the post.

In making his announcement, political newcomer Charles Alvarez said his main concern is the way the city handles business, pointing specifically to past tax increases by the city council. But, he said, too, he thinks it's time for new blood on the council.

"We need to have a different point of view in the Gainesville city area, and I want to offer that," he said.

Alavarez has lived in Gainesville for eight years, and he said he has 26 years of experience with operating apparel businesses in Florida and in Guatemala. Currently, he is a real estate agent with Prudential Georgia Realty.

Alvarez' candidacy comes in the middle of a controversy over Gainesville's at-large system of voting, a system that at least one Latino activist group says dilutes Hispanic voting strength in the city. In fact, the Georgia Association of Latino Officials has threatened legal action if Gainesville does not switch to a by-district form of elections.

Alvarez said that will be a challenge because he will be running against an established system that might not favor his candidacy. Still, he said he is ready to meet the challenge.

"My biggest challenge is getting the people to know me, to know who I am, to understand what my issues are and what I can offer," said Alvarez.

While the race for mayour is non-partisan, Alvarez said he is a registered Republican and is a member of the Hall County GOP.

The election for mayor is November 5. The revised city charter approved by Governor Nathsn Deal on April 11, 2012 allows for the first mayoral election for the city. In the past, the mayor's post has rotated among elected city council members.

© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Ethics laws set to take effect Jan. 1 in Georgia
After dominating much of the legislative session, a set of major ethics reforms is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
7:04PM ( 1 year ago )
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
Dems, GOP seek to define issue for 2014 elections
Ten months to next year's midterm elections, Democrats are determined to make Congress' slim production of fewer than 60 laws and plenty of incompletes - on immigration, gun control, tax reform and basic spending bills - a defining issue, heaping much of the blame on the GOP-led House for obstructing President Barack Obama's second-term agenda.
1:38PM ( 1 year ago )
Kerry seeks framework for Mideast peace talks
A senior State Department official says Secretary of State John Kerry will try this week to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a framework for negotiating a final peace agreement, yet cautions against raising expectations for Kerry's latest round of shuttle diplomacy.
1:35PM ( 1 year ago )
Mexican sales tax hike seen as boon on US border
Mexican license plates are common in parking lots of shopping malls in U.S. border cities. They will be even more familiar after Mexico raises its federal sales tax in border regions to match the rest of the country, say merchants and shoppers.
11:06AM ( 1 year ago )
UPDATE: Testimony begins in trial for one of two remaining defendants in murder, attempted robbery of Gainesville cabbie
Testimony began Tuesday in the trial of one of two remaining defendants in the murder and attempted robbery of a Gainesville cab driver earlier this year.
5:22PM ( 3 hours ago )
Demorest lifts boil water advisory
Demorest Water System customers affected by a storm-related outage over the weekend can resume normal use of water for all purposes.
5:21PM ( 3 hours ago )
Buford robbery suspect nabbed after abandoning vehicle
The man Gwinnett County Police believe robbed a Buford gas station last month is behind bars after officers tracked him down Monday evening.
12:34PM ( 7 hours ago )
Gainesville School Board approves improvements totaling $394K
Improvements totaling $394,000 are on the way for several city schools in Gainesville, as approved by the Gainesville Board of Education at their meeting Monday night.
12:24PM ( 8 hours ago )
Paving work to begin Wednesday at Jewell/Butler parkways
Gainesville city officials are warning motorists to expect some delays Wednesday morning as Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) crews begin patching pavement at a major intersection.
10:05AM ( 10 hours ago )