City plans special November election for empty seat
by Jessicah Peters
July 20, 2014 01:05 AM | 2386 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Glen Cummins
Glen Cummins
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CANTON — Voters in Canton will have to head back to the polls now the Canton City Council approved Thursday to hold a special election in conjunction with the general election on Nov. 4 to fill the vacant Ward 3 seat.

The seat became vacant after Councilman Glen Cummins was selected to become the city manager July 3.

Those interested in running will need to qualify from Aug. 25 to 27. City Hall will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. those three days. The cost to qualify is $63.

Qualifications to run for council are:

•Must be at least 21 years of age;

•Must be a registered city voter;

•Shall be a resident of the Ward they wish to represent for at least six months prior to the election and shall continue to reside therein during the member’s period of service; and

•Shall be a resident of the city of Canton for at least one year prior to the election.

Voters must be registered by Oct. 6 in order to cast a ballot in the November election.

Since Cummins vacated his seat, the term will end upon the swearing in of any new council members in January 2016. Downtown Canton businessman Farris Yawn already announced his plans to run for the council seat.

For further information regarding qualification for office, contact Canton City Clerk Susan Stanton at (770) 704-1507 or email at susans@canton-georgia.com.

Mayor Gene Hobgood also asked the council Thursday night to have another Ethics Committee meeting and properly advertise it.

Canton resident Andrew Potts filed an ethics complaint last month against Cummins, claiming since he was both a seated council member and acting city manager at the time, he should not have been able to participate in the city manager selection process.

The complaint was reviewed and dismissed Tuesday by the committee, which was made up of Council members Sandy McGrew and Jack Goodwin and City Attorney Bobby Dyer.

However, the public and media were notified only an hour before the meeting was set to begin. Council agreed to have the committee meet again at 4 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall so the public can be notified properly.

In other business, council members discussed options to solve the sound problems at City Hall. Director of Technology Camille Wehs said the city will be spending about $1,500 for acoustic engineers to conduct a study and find out what the best solution is. One citizen described the sound as being similar to talking in a tunnel. Councilman Bill Grant noted the sound is even worse for those watching online.

Wehs also gave the council an option to test wireless lapel microphones. She said it would cost about $17,600 to buy the new mics, programming and sound board. However, she is unsure if it will fix the problem.

“The walls in here are all flat and the sound is just bouncing around. There’s nothing to absorb the sound when the council talks into the mics. Even if you purchase the new mics, the problem could continue,” Wehs said.

Councilman John Rust said it makes more sense to move forward with the acoustic study because buying new mics could just add to the problem. He also suggested council members practice speaking within two inches of the microphones.

In other business, the city:

•Approved Marietta Road water line contract and bid for $220,732.75;

•Approved to hold a budget hearing Aug. 7; and

•Approved Chief Finance Officer Nathan Ingram to apply for the Georgia Department of Economic Development Tourism Division and Georgia Council for the Arts grant. The grant, if received, will help pay for signage improvements around the city.

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