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Flowery Branch City Council struggles to meet
Lack of quorum causes postponement; interim mayor not worried
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Flowery Branch City Council’s thinning ranks have put the governing body one member away from being unable to conduct business.

That became apparent this week as city officials penciled in and erased July meeting dates. The council normally meets the first and third Thursdays of the month but is unable to meet today because of a lack of a quorum.

The group had rescheduled to July 8, but then on Wednesday morning, City Clerk Melissa McCain sent an e-mail announcing that “unfortunately, another issue came up with another council member and we will be canceling the (July 8) meeting for lack of a quorum.”

The council now is set to meet next on July 15, what would have been the second meeting of the month. As for holding a second council meeting in July, “there is always a chance, but there is not one anticipated,” McCain said. “So I would say most likely not.”

The city charter requires a mayor or interim mayor and three council members to conduct a meeting. Because of resignations this year, the council is down to three members and an interim mayor. Scheduling is “difficult because families want to take vacations, attend weddings (and so forth),” McCain said.

“I don’t see it as that big of a deal,” said Interim Mayor Mike Miller. “We’ve got a good staff. Our staff is wonderful in Flowery Branch ... We just returned from a (Georgia Municipal Association) conference in Savannah, and that’s the thing I did down there the most — brag on how good we have it here because of our staff.”

City Council began the year with three newly elected council members, two council members in the middle of their first four-year terms and a mayor just elected to her second four-year term.

As the year progressed, Councilman Craig Lutz resigned to run for the District 1 seat on the Hall County Board of Commissioners and Mayor Diane Hirling left for retirement in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

And then Miller, who began his first term as councilman on Jan. 1, announced he plans to resign on Sept. 27 to run for mayor. Sept. 27 is the first day of qualifying for that post and the seat being vacated by Miller.

The city has scheduled Sept. 21 and Nov. 2 special elections to fill the council and mayor seats. Council members are discussing moving the regularly scheduled Sept. 16 meeting to Sept. 23, when the newly elected council member would be sworn in and take part in the meeting, Miller said.

The council then would select a mayor pro tem — the post Miller held before becoming interim mayor.

“The staff has got us looking ahead at those types of details. I think we have a good schedule — everything is planned out,” Miller said. “So ... am I worried? Not at all.”

Regularly scheduled council meetings take place at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 5517 Main St.