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The Local Agenda: Government offices to close for holidays

POSTED: December 23, 2013 11:15 p.m.

Hall County’s offices will be closed today and Christmas Day.

The landfill and Hall County Recycling Center will be closed those days as well, but the county’s compactor sites will only be closed on Christmas Day.

Public safety and public works personnel will be working as necessary.

Gainesville, Flowery Branch, Oakwood and Clermont also will be closed today and Christmas. Phone calls to Lula and Gillsville were not answered Monday.

Gainesville politicians to get sworn in

Gainesville City Council is set to swear in Danny Dunagan to the new mayor position, Sam Couvillon to the Ward 1 seat and George Wangemann to the Ward 4 seat. The ceremony will be 3:30 p.m. Friday at the Gainesville Justice Center, 701 Queen City Parkway.

Couvillon is the only new face to the council, taking over Dunagan’s old seat.

Previously a mayor was selected from the five council members on a rotating basis every two years. Voters in 2009 approved the election of a mayor, who will be an addition to the council.

Dunagan was serving as Ward 1 council member and mayor when he stepped down to run for the new seat.

The mayor, unlike in the past, will not vote on issues unless there is a tie or a fourth “yes” is needed for approval.

The council also will have second readings on a couple of items, including the salaries of the positions.

The five council members will each receive $400 a month or $4,800 annually; the mayor gets $500 a month, or $6,000 a year. It’s no change from previous amounts, but with the mayoral position now a separately elected role, there’s an extra council member salary annually.

“All we did here was what the rotating mayor got, we just applied that to the newly elected position,” City Manager Kip Padgett said at the last council meeting.

“(The salaries) come out of the general fund,” he added. “We budgeted for (the additional salary) when we did the budget this year.”

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