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Wednesday January 16th, 2019 7:31AM

Flowery Branch preparing for special election for vacant council post

By Caleb Hutchins Reporter

The Flowery Branch City Council voted Thursday to call for a special election to fill the council's now-vacant Post Two.

The post is currently empty after former councilwoman Mary Jones stepped down after the council's final meeting of 2018. Thursday was the council's first meeting with the vacant seat.

The special election will be held in June, however Jones' term was set to expire in 2019, meaning that a normal election for the seat will still be held in November after the special election. Qualifying for the special election will be in April.

"Then, whoever fills that position will turn around and have to qualify again in August for a November election, so you can see where the dates kind of run together," Councilman Christopher Mundy said after the meeting.

With that short turnaround for the candidates in mind, council members and city staff discussed possible alternate solutions to short-term council seat vacancies. One of the options discussed was allowing the council to appoint a member to a vacant seat if that seat is within a year of a normal election.

"We would have to set the term, be it less than a year or I know 18 months was thrown out there," Mundy said. "I'm kind of more leaning towards a year or less. I get what they're saying there, but also we want to make sure that we're not taking the voice away from the people."

City staff told the council that such a change would require a change to the city's charter, which would have to be approved by the state legislature for future years and could not be in effect for this year's vacancy.

The qualifying fee for the June special election and the November race will be $144 each.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: Flowery Branch, Flowery Branch City Council, Election
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