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Council member Lutz to run for county commission
City reaches deal with visitors bureau, changes meeting times
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City Councilman Craig Lutz announced Thursday night he plans to run for the Hall County Board of Commissioners’ District 1 seat.

“I believe I can help bring peace and cooperation between the county and municipalities,” he told council members. “Through a cooperative effort, we can get this county back on track.”

Lutz has served as the Post 1 councilman for two years.

Commissioner Bobby Banks currently holds the District 1 commission seat and is up for re-election this year. He is serving his first four-year term.

“I believe our issues in this county have less to do with change and more to do with direction and vision,” Lutz said.

He cited a few examples of frustration, including trying to get money from the county to help the city pay to replace a culvert that collapsed on Spring Street last month after strong overnight rains.

The county would only vow to work toward a “cooperative meeting between the state, county and city,” Lutz said.

Councilman Chris Fetterman, a fellow resident of Lutz’s at Sterling on the Lake subdivision, pledged support for Lutz.
“I look forward to helping you succeed in that,” he said.

In other business, the council voted to a service agreement between the city and the Lake Lanier Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The city would give the bureau 40 percent of what it collects from its 5 percent hotel/motel tax levied on overnight guests. The remaining 60 percent would go to the city.

The bureau would in turn “be responsible for development and implementation of a plan ... for promotion of tourism, conventions and trade shows in the city,” the contract states.

“We’re really excited about the contract. We’ve already been working with the city in marketing,” said Stacey B. Dickson, the group’s president at the meeting.

The council also voted to change the time and date of its meetings.

Meetings had been held at 9:30 a.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of each month but now will take place at 6 p.m. on the first and third Thursdays of the month.

“I’m darn proud we got this approved,” Fetterman said.

Lutz and Fetterman had tried the past two years to change meeting times as a way to increase public attendance at meetings, but were blocked each year by the other members.