Incumbent Councilman Bill Bryan, who was appointed at the beginning of the year to finish Councilman Wally Fowler's unexpired term, is seeking his first full four-year term. He faces a challenge from political newcomer Bill Staab in the Nov. 3 nonpartisan municipal election.
Early voting is open and continues through Friday, and advance voting is from Oct. 26 through Oct. 30. Hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Early voting polls are at the Cherokee County Elections and Registration Office at 400 East Main St. in Canton. Advanced voting polls are at the elections office and at the Woodstock Public Library at 7735 Main St.
On Election Day, the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Canton City Hall.
Bryan, 51, said the council is working to make traffic improvements, such as its efforts to lobby Georgia Department of Transportation to install a traffic light on Highway 20 at the Governor's Walk neighborhood at Canton Marketplace.
"The ultimate solution is proper planning," said Bryan, a retired builder, who now works as a real estate investor and school bus driver. "The city council should not approve any development until all questions are answered."
He said one of those questions is to ask developers how they will handle traffic created by their development.
Creating more local jobs also is high on the agenda for Bryan. To bring more companies to the city, the council should make Canton as special a place as it can, Bryan said. He thinks one of the council's jobs is to "create a desirable environment that companies will want to come to."
One way to make the city stand out, he said, is by enhancing the Etowah River with a network of parks.
"If I am the CEO of a company, I am looking for a special environment, not another faceless community," he said.
Bryan earned his bachelor's degree in industrial management from Auburn University.
An eight-year resident of Canton, Bryan is a member of the Canton Lions Club and the Cherokee County Historical Society
He and his wife, Jenell, have six children and are members of Canton First United Methodist Church.
Staab, 62, said traffic flow on the major corridors through the city has become "overly congested and dangerous in some areas."
"The traffic situation is a mess," he said.
He wants the city to work with GDOT to develop a plan to improve traffic flow through timed traffic signals and install better signage and traffic lane markings to accommodate people on state-maintained roads in the city, especially Highway 20 at the Canton Marketplace development.
During a slow economic time, when revenues are down, the council needs to be recruiting new businesses, Staab said.
"The city needs to be responsible for bringing in business," he said. "There are a lot of places that businesses can come to in the city."
To do this, a new economic development group should be established by the council to develop ways to draw companies to Canton, he said.
A research and development consultant for automotive companies, Staab earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from Georgia State University.
A resident of Canton for 11 years, Staab is a member of the National Rifle Association and the American Motorcyclist Association.
He is married to Patti Ball, the former assistant city attorney for Canton, and has two children and one stepchild.