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Gillsville sets special election for council seat

POSTED: January 4, 2010 11:34 p.m.

Gillsville City Hall will soon be open for those eyeing a seat on City Council.

The city is planning to hold a special election in March to fill the Post 2 seat left vacant after no one qualified to fill it during the election in November.

This unusual situation left council members boggled about what to do with a council that was one person short.

Gillsville Mayor Larry Poole said there was no clear indication in official city documents of how to address the issue and records showed no sign of a similar scenario in the past.

After talks with the city’s attorney, the City Council planned to appoint someone to the seat after it officially became vacant Jan. 1.

"We stepped back and forth there for awhile," Poole said.

"Initially planned to just declare it a vacancy and handle it like a vacancy, which our charter does call for an appointment in that situation."

Poole said after further discussions, the council decided to open up the seat for an election.

"We went back of course with the Secretary of State’s Office with the procedural things you do in an election and we had some differences," Poole said.

"The council talked back and forth with our attorney, David Syfan, and we just said ‘Let’s just redo the whole thing and open it all back up.’"

Poole said the city will now hold qualifying at City Hall Jan. 19, 20 and 21 for the vacant Post 2 seat as well as the mayor and the Post 1 seat, all of which were up for re-election in 2009.

If there are contested races, then the city will not hold an election March 16. Poole said an election costs the city around $3,000.

Poole said he thinks the town’s small size and lack of controversy were likely to blame for the absence of a candidate in the last election.

"The city being as laid back as we are, there’s just not a lot of hoopla about stuff that goes on in the city," Poole said."I think in general folks weren’t paying that much attention. I heard several people say if they had realized no one was going to run they would have offered for the seat."

This time around, Poole feels confident a qualified candidate will show up for the Post 2 seat.

"I really think there’ll be at least one for every seat," Poole said. "I know of one particular individual who has expressed some interested in qualifying."



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