2011
09.27

Election qualification for LaFayette City Council Ward 2 will end Wednesday afternoon. Ward 2 is qualifying separately from Wards 3 and 4 because it wasn’t vacated by now ex-councilman Norm Hodge until the September council meeting. Fortunately there’s still time to include Ward 2 candidates on the November 8th ballot, avoiding the costs of a special election. Here are the Ward 2 candidates who have qualified as of noon Tuesday:

Ward 2 Candidates:

Since qualification isn’t done, the list of candidates may change. Check back Wednesday evening or early Thursday for the complete lineup.

Candidates for Ward 3, Ward 4, and the at-large ward qualified during late August. Ward 3’s current occupant, Bill Craig, isn’t running, neither is Ward 4 Councilman Eric Tallent. At-large councilor Wayne Swanson requalified for his position but has no opposition.

Ward 3 Candidates:

Ward 4 Candidates:

At-Large Candidates:

  • Wayne Swanson (Incumbent)

Four-way and five-way campaigns for the 3rd and 4th wards should make for an interesting race, and will probably lead to a run-off election in December since it will be nearly impossible for any one candidate in those races to get more than 50% of the vote. Also making it interesting, candidates Meeks and Bridges have both served on the council before, giving their opponents plenty of voting history to refer to.

Links to candidate’s Facebook profiles are included when possible. The Underground is attempting to contact every candidate in a competitive race (sorry Wayne) to conduct an e-mail interview; if you’re a candidate, please e-mail the LU so we can e-mail you back, if you haven’t already.

Readers, what would you ask this year’s City Council candidates? If you have a question, post it in comments below. We’ll pass the best ones on to the candidates along with our own questions for an upcoming series of articles. Candidates, we ask that you NOT try to answer questions directly or in comments; to be fair no candidate should see their opponents’ answers before the articles run here. Interviews will be sent out at the end of the week; we hope to have responses up several weeks before the vote.

If you’re old enough to vote but not registered, please register before the October 11th deadline. To find out your voting status please visit the Georgia My Voter Page or see/call the Walker County Elections Office. Mail-in ballots for absentees or early-voting can also be requested at the Elections Office, and in-person early voting will begin there on October the 18th. Absentee ballots must be requested at LaFayette City Hall.

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26 comments so far

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  1. The request for an absentee ballot should be directed to the city.

  2. I’d like to know each candidates definitive responses to how they’re going to improve the city. Not bullet point answers but answers that tell us how they’re thinking of going about to making changes. But my biggest concern is how contracts are let for the city. Will this group of candidates entertain the thought of letting contracts where cost and time overages are punished with fines and completion early is rewarded with say a 10% incentive? I’ve seen this done in other cities, specifically in road work. Not only was the work done on time or early, it was within budget and done right.

  3. I would ask that each candidate, if elected ask himself or herself these four questions before spending our money. (1) Is it moral? (2) Is it constitutional? (3) Do we need it? (4) Can we afford it?

  4. i want to know what they intend on doing to attract new businesses to the city of LaFayette.Also I would like to here their thoughts on what road blocks that are in place that can be removed to help the businesses that we have now to remain thriving.I would also encourage them to keep the council’s business to be as open as possible and to meet more than one time a month.Also have open meetings in each ward they represent every month to here from the people they represent.They need to keep in mind the comments from the people who live in the county too, because the city government also effects the people living in the county.Be smart and listen when people tell you something is wrong ,and try to have a answer for their questions.

  5. what are boundres for the 4 wards

  6. Good comments so far, we’ll definitely pass some of these along to the candidates. Far as I know the candidate list here, as this is written, is complete. We’ll know for sure tomorrow morning. Keep adding more questions if you have any, we’ll be sending out our e-mail to the candidates on Friday. They’ll all be given a deadline to answer it by, else they won’t be included in the articles.

    Winston: More meetings would be good, but we don’t need more meetings where they conduct business or vote. It’s hard enough to get media out to one meeting a month, much less two or four a month. Bebe Heiskell has a meeting every Thursday, if she feels like it, and she can make decisions and “vote” (such as it is with just her) at any of them. People don’t come because they’re every week.. We need one voting meeting a month, but frequent opportunities for citizens to meet with their councilors to ask questions and make suggestions. As a body or one-on-one.

    j canada: The Ward map, as provided by the city, is here: http://www.cityoflafayettega.com/wp-content/uploads/documents/2010/wards-updated.pdf

    As we noted before, the candidate for each ward must live within that ward (at-large ward covers the whole city) but anyone in any ward can vote for the councilor for every ward. It keeps us from getting real representation and forces the candidates to do whatever appeals to the more influential or most likely to vote citizens. That’s why they tend to ignore West LaFayette and Linwood.

    — LU

  7. I would say that for ward 3 our best one for the job will be Chris Hollis. We sure don’t need Judy Meeks back in there. What did she show us outstanding the last time, nothing? On Ward 2, we could settle with Dell Montgomery. Ward 4 I would have to study a little more but definitely not Melvin Bridges or Debord. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

  8. What’s wrong with DeBord? I’ve heard little about him.

    We’ll be sending the questions to candidates sometime on Friday.

    — LU

  9. Thank you Glenda. This town, especially wards 3 & 4, have been desperately in need of someone who is concerned and knowledgeable of our enviroment here. The closest thing we have is Ms.Kimble on the county level, and she can’t do a thing with the City, reguardless of how stupid they insist on being (ie: the millons of $ this municipality was fined by the State of GA when they destroyed the wetlands off the by-pass, without asking anyone, to build the new Public Works Dept. The present administration didn’t care. Why? They were given 20 yrs. to pay the fine…….). Chris is the man for the job, or @ least a good, hopeful start

    Mrs. Meeks? Her only quote tells you exactly where she’s coming from. “They’re all up-front….”. O.K. The only things I seen her accomplish in her tenure was to manipulate loopholes to get her son on the LPD (nothing against him, he appears to be a decent cop), and to put a bounty out on my dog, without asking, without telling anyone, without any apparent justifiable reason. Oh, I almost forgot. She was the proud recipient of the first piece of new side-walk in ward 3. Wasn’t much, about 30′, but that’s not the point…

    Smelvin’s track-record is dismal @ best, and I really can’t say about the rest of ‘em, except that if they play golf, I ‘aint voting for them……..

    If everybody that I vote for, loses again, I’m not wasting my time in these elections until something is done about this monopoly they’ve had going on for so long. What I will do, is buck’em ’til my last breath……………….

  10. Take a close look at Kevin Robinson, Ward 4. He’s not part of the “good ole boy” politics that have created our problems in the past. I really think he can make a difference.

  11. O.K. Say we get our two (by some miracle) in. That leaves us with not just council for ward 1 & 2 to contend with, but we’ve still got the two remaining constants (@ large & Mayor) to veto/grid-lock any serious efforts. We would still be in the minority. There’s nothing to stop another Arnold debacle.

    Why can’t we get a new Mayor and Municiple insuror? The Mayor has a lock on City workers & S.S. recipients and his brother-in-law up the street handles the insurance for the municipality. Nice, neat, little package.

    If we could ever get a new Mayor in here, impartial, but has this town as a priority, we’d have a shot @ getting things across-the-board for a change.

    Big “If” though…………….

  12. Gabby: If we get three new people on the council it won’t matter who else is there or what the mayor does. Mayor has no vote unless there’s a tie among the five councilors. I know some of the candidates listed above are intending to dismantle a lot of the stuff that now favors the mayor and FiDOP friends in the city – we just have to be sure we get the right ones in.

    — LU

  13. O.K. LU. My voter registration is current, up-to-date, and active. I’ve made sure of that. We’ll just have to wait and see………………

  14. LU, I got to thinking ( not good, I know),but it’s numerically impossible to have a tie with odd numbers (5). Even numbers (4), sure. It’s been quite while, so there very well be something in Probs & Stats I’ve forgotten (?).

  15. Gabby: that’s why the Mayor doesn’t vote often. But sometimes a councilman is absent from the meeting, like now while Ward 2 is vacant, or a councilor doesn’t vote on something. Last November they couldn’t decide about putting Christmas lights up on Chattooga Academy, two voted no, two voted yes, one wouldn’t take a position, and the mayor voted to break the tie.

    If a certain councilwoman-wannabe recuses herself from voting on issues that impact her two children who work for the city, that will open an opportunity for the mayor to vote more often.

    — LU

  16. How have they been getting around nepotism so easily ? While nepotism and favoritism in the workplace is usually not illegal, there are circumstances in which they are.

    If you accept, on face value, the conditions required to meet the bar for illegal and punishable under law, this administration meets the criteria on both counts.

  17. There’s a question about nepotism in the e-mail we sent that particular council candidate.

    Our questions have all been sent off as of early this morning, candidates have an October 18th deadline to respond so we can get something up on the Web site in time.. Some early voters will have already cast ballots but that’s a small percentage of the overall vote.

    — LU

  18. out of 7500 people living inside the city, only 300 of them vote.

  19. Lu, you had a link as part of a post a couple of weeks ago that directed you to a color newspaper article ’97, ’98…, that featured an article about the Mayor, Councilor at Large Swanson and the other Councilmen at the time, annoucing Mr. Arnold’s hiring as the City Manager.

    I have not been able to locate that post again. Has it been removed, or am I just not looking in right place ?

    Can you give me a little direction on this?

    Thanx

  20. I don’t remember exactly what you’re referring to. Closest thing to that I can find is this: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=XIJOAAAAIBAJ&sjid=mz8DAAAAIBAJ&pg=5677,3548310&hl=en

    — LU

  21. I was wandering if someone could give me a list of internet resources or web pages that show a list of candidates for different local, state, and federal positions and dates and times where votings are held so that I can personally keep up with what times of the year I need to vote and have time to check out the candidates and their views? I do not have a television, I don’t ever listen to the radio because of the 90% garbage, and I can not afford the sunday or daily paper.

  22. Daniel DeBoard, not Joe Debord for Ward 4 City Council should be, Daniel DeBoard , Joe is my first name and everyone in LaFayette knows me as Daniel.

  23. Mr DeBoard-

    My apologies, we took your name from another news article.. We’ll make a correction. Figured something like that when I saw your e-mail address.

    Hope you’ve received our e-mail of questions, I look forward to getting the answers soon if you haven’t already sent them.

    — LU

  24. Thank You, Yes, I have recieved your email and I will be gitting you some answers soon. I appreciate you guys keeping the citizens of LaFayette up to date on everything going on in this gtreat city we call home!
    Thanks,
    Daniel DeBoard

  25. Last nights Candidates Forum at the Civic Center was sad. Many candidates didn’t show up. Those who did were Dell Montgomery, Judy Meeks, Stacey Suttle, Chris Davis and Kevin Robinson. I’m only addressing those running for the city council seats in LaFayette. What’s worse is, the voters didn’t show up. If the people of this town don’t care about who is running our local government then they deserve what ever they get.

  26. Yes Wayne, it is sad. Sad that the voters in this town are so sick and tired of the BS that they don’t even care to waste their time and fuel listening to people that they are not going to vote for. They’ve pretty much made their minds up already.

    But, as we all well know, just because every vote cast in a ward is for a particular candidate, does not mean that candidate will represent that ward. The majority ward vote can be overruled by voters from the other wards.

    If a ward majority votes for candidate A, and gets stuck with candidate B because that’s who the other wards want in there, as far as I’m concerned, it’s taxation without representation. If me and the majority of my ward didn’t vote for this clown, they don’t represent me, and I won’t recognize them as such. I’m sick of it, too. I want the number of ballots cast from each ward to reflect who represents them. Anything else is just BS.