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Two Flowery Branch council posts up for grabs this year
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Flowery Branch faces more City Council races this year, but so far, just planned ones.

The council has given its first OK to an ordinance setting election and qualifying dates for posts 1 and 2 held by Amanda Swafford and Chris Fetterman, respectively.

Qualifying for the council seats is set for Aug. 29-Sept. 2 and the election will take place Nov. 8.
City Council is scheduled to give its final OK to the ordinance at its Jan. 20 meeting.

Swafford was elected last year to serve out the unexpired term of Craig Lutz, who resigned to run for the Hall County Board of Commissioners where he now serves as the South Hall representative.

Fetterman is in the fourth year of his first four-year term.

"It is still early and a lot could happen between now and the start of the qualifying period. But right now, at this point and time, I am planning to run for re-election this year," Swafford said.

"Even in the short time I have been serving on the City Council, it has become clear to me that my voice and my vote can make a difference to the residents, visitors and business owners ... in a very tangible way. If the voters would like to continue to see me involved, I would be honored to run and eventually serve again."

Fetterman isn't sure yet whether he'll seek re-election.

"At this time, it's wait and see how things transpire," he said. "I'll know closer to the qualifying date. I'll sit down with my wife and family and make that decision about my political future."

Fetterman is the senior member of the council, which has been going through major turnover since November 2009.

The transition began when three council members with longtime ties to the city - Allen Bryans Sr., Pat Zalewski and Mary Jones - opted not to run for new terms. The council began 2010 with new council members Mike Miller, Tara Richards and Kris Yardley.

Then, special elections filled the year.

Lutz resigned in April, midway through his first four-year term, and then-Mayor Diane Hirling resigned her mayor's post one month later to retire to Florida.

Miller, 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. Swafford won election Sept. 21; Miller won Nov. 7, along with Joe Anglin, who won Miller's old council seat.

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