Election day arrives for area voters

By Ed Brock

There is an election today in Morrow as well as other municipalities in the county and weather should be no obstacle to voters.

Today should be mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of rain in the afternoon and highs in the upper 70s, according to the National Weather Service office in Peachtree City.

In Jonesboro the number of signs and amount of campaigning by mayoral and city council candidates there has City Manager Jon Walker optimistic about the turn out as well.

"I think they've generated a lot of interest," Walker said.

Jim Millirons, Morrow's mayor for eight years, will face a challenge from write-in candidate Sharon Summers, a 56-year-old hospice nurse who says she wants people to see "the public behind the public officials.

"We're hoping for a reasonable number of voters to come out," said Morrow City Manager John Lampl.

Mayor has unfinished business, challenger wants change

Millirons, 72, said he wants to continue the city's master plan of having the city grow responsibly and to maintain the city's state designation as a City of Excellence.

"We have a number of projects under way and I want to see them to fruition," Millirons said.

Those projects include the construction of the regional federal archives building to join the already operational Georgia state archives building as anchors for the planned Gateway Village project. The Gateway project, which Millirons helped conceive, would also include a hotel/convention center, mixed-use development and other developments along Jonesboro Road in the city.

Millirons said he also wants to continue to keep the city free from ad valorem tax. Retired from the U.S. Army and the banking industry, Millirons now runs a real estate brokerage firm.

He is married, has five children and has lived in the city for 30 years. He has also served as city manager and on the city council.

Summers qualified as a write-in candidate a week after the regular qualification period finished. A resident of the city for 20 years, Summers said she thinks the mayor should be available to all residents of the city.

"I started listening really closely to my neighbors and they really felt like they didn't have a voice in the city government," Summers said.

Summers is a Vietnam War veteran and is married with one son.

Morrow council members Tom LaPorte and Charles Sorrow will have their names on the ballot but they have no challengers for their seats.

The vote will be held in Morrow City Hall and polls will be open for all municipal elections from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Other races

Jonesboro voters should remember that, while the names of former city council candidates Tammy Cole and Claude "Buddy" Sealey will still appear on the ballot the two are no longer in the running and a vote for them will not count.

Cole was disqualified from the election because she was not registered to vote in the city before the time of qualification and Sealey withdrew from the campaign due to scheduling conflicts with his job.

Challengers Carl Ayers, 60, Donna Meadows, 59, and 55-year-old Linda Wenz will face off against each other and incumbent Councilman Cliff "Rip" Sewell, 69, in Jonesboro's at-large council election. Mayor Joy Day will run against former Councilman Luther Maddox.

In Riverdale Mayor Mary Lee, who is 69 and has held the seat since 1990, will face challenges from 38-year-old Phaedra Graham, 67-year-old Sherri Jefferson and 40-year-old Kellie Jackson, daughter-in-law of former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson.

Vying for the Ward 4 City Council seat will be incumbent Robby Strain and challenger 48-year-old Kenny Russin. Michelle "Mickie" Bruce, 41, won the Ward 2 seat without opposition to take the place of incumbent Ann Dunivin who decided not to seek re-election.

Lake City Mayor Willie Oswalt, who has held the position for about 30 years, will face Jim Defee in the election. Incumbent council members Dwight Ginn and Bobby Williams, both 68, will run against 41-year-old Kenneth Betz Jr. and 59-year-old Raymond Johnson.

The polls for the Lake City election will be at the old city hall at 5535 North Parkway.

Forest Park Mayor Chuck Hall is not up for re-election in this race but council members Corine Deyton, Donald Judson and Wes Lord are. Deyton, 66, will compete against 59-year-old David Halcome Sr. for Ward 3, 72-year-old Judson will face 69-year-old John Buckholts in Ward 4 and Lord, 56, will try to keep the Ward 5 seat from 37-year-old David Lockhart.

There is only one election in Lovejoy in which 59-year-old Richard Simmons will try to take the council seat to which incumbent Bobby Cartwright was appointed six months ago and is seeking election.