There are three seats up for election in Lula this year. Mayor Milton Turner faces a challenge from Paul Cox, while Bruce Lane hopes to upset Councilwoman Vicky Chambers for the District 2 seat. District 3 Councilman Mordecai Wilson will run unopposed.
Lula City Council, District 2
Personal: Mother of two and grandmother of two; president of the Lula Belton Historical Society; involved in Downtown Development Authority and Lula Area Betterment Association
Profession: Owner of Around the Corner Florist, retired Hall County bus driver
Government experience: Eight years on Lula City Council, six years as mayor pro-tem
Why running: “To preserve the small town way of life. We don’t want to become another Gwinnett County.”
Personal: Married, two children; active at Airline Baptist Church, Yaarab Shrine of Atlanta
Profession: Commercial truck driving program manager for North Georgia Technical College
Government experience: Past president of Lula Booster Club, town advisory committees in New York
Why running: “I just feel I have a lot to offer the city of Lula as far as my knowledge with safety. A safer city is a city people want to live in.”
Lula City Council, Mayor
Personal: Married 25 years, two children
Profession: Poultry farmer, property investment
Government experience: 14 years on Lula City Council, eight years as mayor
Why running: “I have a proven record of being able to run the city without a property tax. I feel I can continue bringing stuff to the city.”
Personal: Married, two children; graduated from Florida State University; Desert Storm veteran
Profession: Stay at home dad, former firefighter
Government experience: Department of Agriculture
Why running: “I just want to give the town back to the people. I work for them if I’m elected.”
There is one thing all of the candidates for the Lula City Council can agree on — big things are happening.
The small railroad town has sat still and quiet for years, without so much as a supermarket.
But all that is about to change.
The city has already begun work on an $8.5 million wastewater treatment plant that will be the engine for economic growth in the North Hall region.
Lula also just completed its Veterans Park, the first step to revitalize the downtown area and attract new businesses to the small community.
The Hall County Board of Commissioners has approved two large community developments just outside of Lula — Hagen Creek and Cane Creek.
Councilwoman Vicky Chambers said she hopes to be re-elected in order to maintain a balance between welcoming change and preserving the tradition and community of Lula.
“I want to try and bring new business to the downtown area and preserve the small-town way of life,” Chambers said. “If we’re not careful, that’ll be a thing of the past.”
Many are looking forward to the opportunities the new sewer system may bring, but Chambers said it will be a battle for the city council.
“I think growth the sewer system will bring will be a challenge to control,” Chambers said.
Bruce Lane is challenging Chambers for her District 2 seat.
Lane said his key issue is safety. As the commercial truck driving program manager for North Georgia Technical College, he said he spends much of his time teaching people how to be safe drivers. He said growth will bring more safety issues, and the city must be prepared.
“I just feel a safer city is a city that people want to live in,” Lane said. “I like people to be able to feel secure and safe and not feel like they’re going to get broke into at night or during the day when they’re not home. I want them to feel when they’re out walking they don’t have to worry about speeding cars going by.”
Lane said he would like to look into one day bringing a police department to Lula.
Communication is also key for Lane. He said he would like to create a Web site with an open forum to give people more access to the city government.
In the mayoral race Mayor Milton Turner said he hopes to continue the work he started over the past decade to improve the city of Lula.
“This is my community,” he said. “I want to continue to be a part of it.”
Turner said the Veterans Park and the wastewater treatment plant are evidence that he has been able to do big things for the city on a small budget.
“I have a proven record of being able to run the city without a property tax,” Turner said.
Paul Cox said he is challenging Turner to open up city government.
“I just want to give the town back to the people,” Cox said. “People feel comfortable with me, and they’re not scared to ask me a question.”
Cox said his main goal would be to expedite the downtown revitalization efforts, which he said the community has been looking forward to for years.
He said people are ready to see local businesses fill the empty buildings in the downtown area.
“They want the hometown stuff,” Cox said.