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2 longtime residents seek Oakwood council post
James, Jones look to fill seat vacated by McFarland
1010OAKWOODpatjones
Pat Jones

Early voting

Where: Hall County Board of Elections and Registrars, lower level, Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville

When: Starting Monday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday

Contact: 770 534-2365

Election Day voting

Where: Oakwood Community Building, 4101 Railroad Street, Oakwood

When: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Both a political newcomer and a current planning commissioner will soon vie for the Post 2 spot on the Oakwood city council, which was recently vacated by longtime councilman Ron McFarland.

The special election is to finish out McFarland’s term, which will be from Nov. 9 to 2017.

Early voting begins Monday to determine whether Pat Jones or Charles James — both longtime Oakwood residents — will take the open city council seat.

James, a resident of Oakwood since 1982, worked for much of his life at the Georgia Department of Labor. He decided to run for city council after attending a public hearing in which the council voted on a millage rate increase.

“When I went there for the hearing, I bet there wasn’t seven people down there at the meeting,” James said. “And so, I said to myself, well, pardon my French but ‘what’s wrong with this country is the people don’t give a rat’s address.’ That’s the reason I decided to run.”

Jones, who has lived in Oakwood for about 30 years, said she has many reasons for running for office. Among them: she’s been seeing more and more of what she calls “urban campers ... people begging” around Oakwood. She wants to put a stop to it.

“They’ve been getting a little ambitious in their begging, and that’s a safety issue.”

She also said she wants to see the continuation of the Oakwood 2030 project, an initiative which maps out the city’s vision for growth and development for the next decade and a half.

Jones said her level of experience sets her apart from her opponent. She served on the Oakwood Planning and Zoning Commission for four years.

James, on the other hand, says it’s his lack of experience that makes him a viable choice.

“I don’t know how city government works, but I will learn,” James said. “My goals for the city are to get the most services for the least amount of tax money and to keep the city safe for all the people.”

The usual term for an Oakwood city council member is four years, but because McFarland left office halfway through his term, the winning candidate will only serve for about two years.

McFarland had held the post since 1987.

Charles James

Age: 68

Family: Single with three sons, five grandchildren.

Occupation: Retired from the Georgia Department of Labor

Education: Went to the former Gainesville Junior College for two years.

What makes you qualified to serve on the City Council?

I care about my city, county and state and the people that live here. The people can trust me to do the best job I can ... and try to do the best for the people and the city. My 34 years at the labor department dealing with people who had all kinds of problems gives me experience and insight.

What are your goals if elected?

To do city business after I learn how city government works. I don’t know how city government works, but I will learn. My goals for the city are to get the most services for the least amount of tax money and to keep the city safe for all the people. I have always tried to be a good, honest and decent person. If elected, I will be the same as a council member.

Pat Jones

Age: 70

Family: “My immediate family consists of pets with fur and shells.” Her great grandfather was Casey Jones, legendary railroad engineer; she takes part in Casey Jones Day each year in Jackson, Tenn.. with extended family members.

Occupation: Retired from 30 years of teaching in 1998, 26 spent in Gainesville. She now compiles and publishes genealogical resource books.

Education: Graduated from Fulton High School in Fulton, Ky. Attended Murray State University and earned undergraduate and post graduate degrees.

What makes you qualified to serve on the City Council?

After serving four years on the Oakwood Planning and Zoning Commission with training, one year on the Development Authority, and eight years on the Oakwood Springs Condominium Association Board of Directors, with the last five as president, I believe I have the experience and desire to give back to the city in a positive way. I volunteer at numerous community activities such as the Oakwood Secret Santa Car Show, the Road and Stream Cleanup, and the Oakwood Christmas Party and have seen over the years what a caring community Oakwood is.

What are your goals if elected?

The city of Oakwood is a wonderful place to live. I would like to see the development of more residential areas. We have a large number of quality industries, but with additional ones, they would bring in more jobs and in turn more residents.

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