FLOWERY BRANCH — The race for Flowery Branch City Council’s Post 3 seat got off to an informal, subdued start Monday night at the South Hall Republican Club.
In the first of two meetings featuring Flowery Branch council races, the club held a brief forum for Post 3 incumbent Fred Richards and his challenger, Ed Edwards, at the Hall County Library System’s Spout Springs branch.
Richards has served on the council since April 2012 and is seeking his first four-year term on it. Edwards operated Edwards Printing in the Atlanta area for 30 years before moving the business to Gainesville in 2005.
Both men are retired.
Richards said his priorities, if re-elected, would be to see redevelopment of the business district “at least start coming out of the ground.”
Also, “we have to deal with our infrastructure for our stormwater system that was damaged in the May 19 floods,” he said.
“I don’t want to see the millage rate go up and I’ll work diligently to at least keep it the same, and I’ll continue to work with the rest of the council members and the community in a constructive manner.
“My goal is to change Flowery Branch from a dot on a map to a place of destination where people really come (to) work, play and shop.”
Edwards didn’t say what he would like to see accomplished if elected, but in a one-minute closing statement each candidate had, he spoke briefly about the city’s voting system.
“I’ve been real interested in looking at what at-large is,” he said. “Everybody who’s a council member is at-large. They don’t represent a district; they represent the whole city.
“I don’t see a problem with that right now, but it could be a problem later on.”
He said he chose to run because of past experience on boards and committees.
“It’s pretty similar to the (City) Council,” Edwards said. “I think ... I would be able to fit in and be able to handle that type of structure.”
The two men will square off in the general election on Nov. 5.
Post 4 Councilman Joe Anglin, who also spoke at the meeting, is running unopposed.
The club is set to hear from candidates in the mayor’s race, incumbent Mike Miller and challenger Shanon Lutz, on Oct. 7. The meeting is set for 6:30-8 p.m. at the library.
Two more candidates running for the Flowery Branch City Council also will speak then, incumbent Councilwoman Tara Richards and her challenger, Chris Fetterman.
In addition, the club will hear U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat.