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Lula to vote on liquor, Dahlonega on council vacancy

POSTED: March 16, 2009 11:23 p.m.

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, put on your green and go to the polls.

Today is also election day, and it will be up to Hall County residents to decide if the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax will be extended.

Some area municipalities will be holding special elections as well. Dahlonega voters will select a new city councilman and Lula residents will vote on selling distilled spirits in the city.

It is currently illegal to sell distilled spirits, or liquor, in Lula.

The binding referendum question is the result of a public initiative, said Lula City Manager Dennis Bergin.

A group of residents banded together and collected 334 signatures, enough to legally put the issue on the ballot.

"It wasn’t one generated by the (city) council," Bergin said. "It was actually done by petition."

In Dahlonega, voters will fill the Post 2 seat on the city council.

Dahlonega City Clerk Janet Jarrard said the seat was vacated after former Councilman Guy Laboa resigned in December.

"He went to Iraq. He’s a private contractor," Jarrard said.

Three people are running for the position: Geoffrey Kridel, Johnny Ariemma and George "Bud" Clegg.

"His term would end at the end of the year, so they’re only going to serve nine months or so," she said. "But by our charter we still had to hold an election."

Jarrard said it is unusual that so many people are vying for the seat.

"I was surprised actually that we had three people who were interested in running for that short of a term. Because they’ll have to start back campaigning again around August," Jarrard said.

Most cities and towns will be holding municipal elections in November.

The election will take place at the Lumpkin County Parks and Recreation building.

Hall County voters may go to their regular polling places to vote for SPLOST VI.

The sales tax, if approved, would collect $240 million over six years to fund capital projects throughout the county.

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and all voters will need a photo ID.

Interim Hall County Elections Director Charlotte Sosebee-Hunter said she is expecting between 9 and 12 percent of voters to turn out. She said a total of 1,710 people voted during the 30 days of early and advanced voting.



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