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Flowery Branch mayor, city councilman sworn into office
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New Flowery Branch Mayor Mike Miller takes the oath of office as he is sworn into office by City Clerk Melissa McCain during Thursday evening’s Flowery Branch City Council meeting.

For the first time since mid-April, Flowery Branch has a five-member City Council and mayor.

The city has a complete group of elected officials, with Thursday night’s swearing in of Mike Miller as mayor and Joseph Anglin as city councilman.

Miller and Anglin won Tuesday’s election to fill unexpired terms for their respective posts, capping a year of special elections, candidate qualifying and elected officials coming and going.

“Thank you all. I look forward to serving all the citizens of Flowery Branch,” Miller said after being sworn in.

The roller coaster year began with former Councilman Craig Lutz resigning in April, midway through his first four-year term, to run for the Hall County Board of Commissioners’ South Hall seat, which he won easily Tuesday night.

One month later, Mayor Diane Hirling resigned her post to retire to Florida. Miler, who had been serving as mayor pro tem, took over as interim mayor and served until Sept. 27, when he resigned to qualify for mayor.

In the meantime, Amanda Swafford won a Sept. 21 special election to serve out Lutz’s term.

Anglin ran unopposed for Miller’s old council seat.

Over those months, the city had to step up efforts to ensure a quorum at meetings, as the charter requires at least three council members and a mayor or interim mayor in attendance.

“You now have a full council again,” Lutz said to the group Thursday night, noting that Councilman Chris Fetterman was absent “because he is traveling with his company.”

Lutz, who takes the commission’s District 1 office on Jan. 1, also congratulated Miller and Anglin on their victories.

“I think the city is in great shape,” he said. “... I think that you all are going to represent the city well. You do have to represent the whole city, so you have to keep that in mind. Just make sure to get out there and visit all parts of it.”

Sitting council members also congratulated Tuesday’s winners.

“I will enjoy getting my vote back,” said Kris Yardley, who served as interim mayor since Miller’s resignation.

The mayor or interim mayor can only cast a vote to break a tie.

Swafford said, “I’m just happy not to be the newest council member.”

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