Three candidates will compete for two seats on Clermont’s City Council this year. Incumbent Councilman James “Sonny” Helton will run for re-election against Lynn Adams and Ellen Rogers. In Clermont, candidates run at-large, and the highest vote getters take the seats. Mayor James Nix is running unopposed.
Clermont City Council
James “Sonny” Helton
Note: Helton declined to share personal or professional information with The Times
Government experience: Four years on Clermont City Council
Personal: Married with two children; enjoys swimming, hiking, running
Profession: Director of aquatics for Georgia Mountains YMCA
Government experience: Served two years on planning and zoning board and two years on board of directors for The Mountains Homeowners Association
Why running: “I feel that it is very important to preserve family and faith and community. I’m interested in seeing that continue.”
Personal: Six children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren; volunteers with Good News at Noon
Profession: Certified Nurse’s Assistant
Government experience: None
Why running: “My hometown has the sweetest and best people in all the world. I’ve lived here 82 years and it’s my opinion there is no better place anywhere than here. What I want is to take care of the town.”
Clermont is an idyllic small town. The old city center, churches and homes are set comfortably in north Hall County, with the mountains as a backdrop.
And the candidates in the Clermont City Council race want to keep it that way.
Ellen Rogers, 82, said she is running for the council to help preserve the town’s small, warm atmosphere.
“I just love this town and I’ve lived here all my life,” said Rogers, who still lives in the house where she was born.
Rogers said she wants to be on the city council to help improve Clermont and to vote in the best interest of the town.
“The town is so special to me,” Rogers said. “I’ve always tried to make my part of the town look good and do things for people.”
Rogers said many were surprised she wanted to run for office at her age.
But the octogenarian stays active by working as a certified nurse’s assistant and volunteering with Good News at Noon.
If elected, Rogers would be the third person from her family on the council. Her father was a city councilman in the 1930s and her brother was elected in the 1960s.
She said though she doesn’t want the town to change too much, she knows it won’t stay the same forever.
“I want to take care of the town we have,” Rogers said. “It’s growing. I’d like to do what I can to help it.”
Lynn Adams also hopes to help Clermont absorb changes in a positive way.
Adams, 48, is running for council after serving two years on the city’s planning and zoning board.
She said her time on the board combined with her experience in real estate will give her the knowledge to make informed choices about Clermont’s future.
Adams said one of the issues that will face Clermont in the future is intrusion from the planned growth in the Ga. 365 corridor.
She said she wants to make sure growth will not threaten the way of life in Clermont.
“I want us to take our time and look at the new things that come up, and I want us to grow smart instead of grow fast,” Adams said.
The sense of community is a very important aspect of Clermont, Adams said.
“I feel that it is very important to preserve family and faith and community,” Adams said. “Family and faith exists very strongly in Clermont now, and I’m very interested in seeing that continue. I want it to be a place where people can raise their families and feel safe while doing so.”
Incumbent Councilman James “Sonny” Helton declined an interview with The Times.