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Lula expected to set special election in November to fill 2 vacant council seats
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Lula City Council is down to just three members after two resigned within two weeks of each other. The city will likely hold a special election for the vacant seats on Nov. 8. - photo by Conner Evans

Lula City Council is down to three members, just enough to do business, after two members recently resigned from their posts. 

The council is expected to hold a special election on Nov. 8, the same time as the state general election, as suggested by City Attorney Joey Homans Monday, June 13. 

Longtime City Council member Lamb Griffin resigned on May 23, saying he was tired of repeated criticism from certain residents, and council member Matt Hamby resigned last week to take a job as finance director of Flowery Branch. 

With only three people and a non-voting mayor on the council, only unanimous votes will pass. For example, if a council member made a motion to approve an ordinance, but only received one other vote in support, it would be tabled until the next voting meeting. 

Major upcoming votes include the potential adoption of the 2022-2023 budget on June 20 and a potential vote as early as July on annexing land for a 519-home subdivision that could lead to a large increase in the city’s population. 

Homans proposed the election date to council members at their work session Monday, June 13, saying they could pass the resolution June 20 to get the process started. 

The City Council must also approve a new voting district map using 2020 census data. This would be its first local election since receiving the census data, which was delayed because of complications related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

City Manager Dennis Bergin presented a potential map to the council Monday, shifting districts slightly to accommodate the city’s population growth. 

Lula has a population of 2,822, according to the 2020 census, up slightly from 2,776 in 2010. 

Voting districts must be equal in population, and candidates must live in the district they represent. Lula residents may vote for any candidate, not just those representing their district. 

The map could be adopted as early as July 18, Homans said, providing enough notice for the fall election. Qualifying fees have yet to be set.