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Flowery Branch considers Sept. 21 special election
Council seat vacant as Lutz runs for county commissioner
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Flowery Branch City Council
When: 6 p.m. Thursday
Where: City Hall, 5517 Main St., Flowery Branch
Contact: 770-967-6371

A special election to fill a seat vacated by Flowery Branch City Councilman Craig Lutz could be held Sept. 21.

City Council is expected to consider an ordinance on first reading Thursday approving the election date, with final OK set for May 20.

Lutz resigned his post at the April 15 council meeting, a couple of weeks before he qualified for the District 1 South Hall post on the Hall County Board of Commissioners.

State law required him to give up the city post once he qualified for the commission seat.

City Clerk Melissa McCain says in a document prepared for City Council that Sept. 21 is “the next available (election) date that will allow enough time to have qualifying, ballots printed, absentee voting and official approval by the (U.S.) Department of Justice.”

Under the proposed ordinance, qualifying would take place June 9-11 at Flowery Branch City Hall, 5517 Main St. The qualifying fee is $144.

The last day a resident can register to vote in the special election would be Aug. 23.

Lutz will face incumbent Bobby Banks and businessman Kimbo Senter — all are Republicans — in the July 20 primary. Paul Godfrey, a Democrat, also has qualified to run for the office.

“As I committed previously,” Lutz said on April 15, “I intend to pay for the special election to fill my remaining term because I do not feel it is right for the citizens of our city to carry the financial burden of the special election.

“I do regret, however, that there will be a significant amount of time that the seat will be vacant. I commit to continue to work with the mayor and council over the next several months until this position is filled.”

The city has budgeted $1,500 for the election.

In other business, the council plans to:

  • Consider approving a contract with The Jaeger Company, based in Gainesville, for design work associated with a $50,000 Georgia Department of Transportation landscaping grant.
    The city plans to beautify portions of Atlanta Highway between Thurmon Tanner Parkway and Waterstone Crossing subdivision at Vireo Drive.
    Jaeger would be paid $8,676 for its work.
  • Hold a public hearing on improvements to Jones Road between Mitchell and Gainesville streets.
    The city is looking at a $220,000 option that calls for widening all of Jones and realigning the Mitchell Street intersection. At $16,000, the city would widen only a slight portion of Jones and designate the rest as one-way only.