Monday night I missed my first Dunwoody City Council meeting since being sworn in because of a week long business trip and unfortunately that also meant I missed Thursday night's special called meeting whereby the Mayor added a last minute agenda item to discuss a Special Called Election to fill a vacancy. Though I missed the meeting, Rick Callihan attended and you can read his recap here.
The need of a Special Election is being proposed because Dunwoody Councilman Tom Taylor "qualified" to run for the State Legislature on Monday to fill Fran Millar's vacant Georgia house seat and it appears that the Georgia State Constitution, shown below, states that Taylor's Dunwoody City Council seat is now vacant and that a City election should now be held. Councilman Taylor states that the Dunwoody Charter is not in agreement with State Law and that he is obtaining an outside legal opinion and will be stepping down if is the proper thing to do.
Waiting on the formal resignation of Councilman Taylor and/or a decision of the City Clerk, Ms. Sharon Lowery to announce the seat vacant based on the legal interpretation of the City Law Department; the residents of District 3 who live on the East Side of Dunwoody should be aware that the City of Dunwoody may be looking for a candidate to step forward to serve as the local representative. If an election is to be held to replace Councilman Taylor, only the residents of District 3 will be voting in this special election in order to elect the local district representative who also lives in the same district."The office of any state, county, or municipal elected official shall be declared vacant upon such elected official qualifying, in a general primary or general election, or special primary or special election, for another state, county, or municipal elective office or qualifying for the House of Representatives or the Senate of the United States if the term of the office for which such official is qualifying for begins more than 30 days prior to the expiration of such official's present term of office. The vacancy created in any such office shall be filled as provided by this Constitution or any general or local law. This provision shall not apply to any elected official seeking or holding more than one elective office when the holding of such offices simultaneously is specifically authorized by law."
City Hall has been aware of this situation since last Monday night and I am sure they could pull off the July 20th election with a qualification period happening the week of May 10th.
This weeks two council meetings were both held with the minimum quorum of only four members, therefore I am in favor of an election as soon as possible in order to assure that future city meetings are not negatively affected by a lack of quorum. I am also aware that our City Charter does not allow a tie breaking mechanism therefore a three / three tie among the reduced six city council members could easily hamper the movement of city business.
If our Dunwoody City Election were held on July 20th, the date of the general election primary and there were three evenly supported candidates causing a runoff because no candidate received 51% of the vote, then I believe the runoff would move to the November general election date. If we wait until November to hold our election, there is a possibility that a runoff election if needed wouldn't occur until January 2011 and I don't think we can wait that long.
Please help me find a qualified community leader who currently lives in District three shown above (which basically correlates with the Dunwoody North, Kingsley, Four Oaks, DeKalb Highlands, Fontainebleau, Brooke Farm, or Waterford subdivisions) and is willing to serve the residents of Dunwoody. If there are any residents who are interested in running and have questions, please feel free call me at (678) 348-0234 and I will do my very best to answer what I can regarding the position. I have pulled a few tidbits of information that people may be interested in and posted links below. Thanks, John
City Wide Results from 2008
2008 Election Citywide breakdown by precinct for my at-large post.