By Ed Brock
When first asked, Joe Swafford of Morrow wasn't sure if he'd be voting in the Nov. 4 municipal election.
But as he stood in front of his Mural Drive home, he started coming up with reasons to go to the polls.
"This is one of the few places in America where socialism is alive and well," Swafford said, citing what he calls unfair regulations regarding building carports and parking on the grass. "I'd say Morrow definitely needs a change."
Like other municipalities around the county and state, qualification for Morrow's election begin today at 8:30 a.m. and last until 4:30 p.m. Friday. Mayor Jim Milirons will be up for reelection along with council members Tom LaPorte and Charles Sorrow, Morrow City Manager John Lampl said.
According to state regulations candidates must pay 3 percent of the annual salary of the position they are seeking to qualify. In most cases they have to live in the city for a year before the election but in Jonesboro they must have lived in the city for six months but have been a resident of the state for a year before the election.
In Forest Park, where Mayor Chuck Hall's position is not opening but three council positions are, candidates must live in the ward for which they are running throughout their term. Council members Corinne Deyton, Donald Judson and Wes Lord are up for reelection.
Candidates must be qualified voters at least 21 years old.
In Jonesboro Mayor Joy Day will face challengers for her seat, along with council members Cliff "Rip" Sewell, Ed Adair and Luther Maddox "I'm planning (my campaign). Planning, yes," Day said.
Lake City Mayor Willie Oswalt said he hasn't given his campaign much thought.
"It's too early for it right now," Oswalt said. "We don't even know who's going to be running yet."
Council members Bobby Williams and Dwight Ginn will also be up for new terms in Lake City.
In Riverdale Mayor Mary Lee and council members Ann Dunivin and Robby Strain will be up for reelection. In Lovejoy Mayor Joe Murphy will have to face challengers along with all of the city's council, Bobby Cartwright, Arlie Aukerman, Peggy Johnson and Barbara Spruill.
For Tawana Wells, 22, this will be her first election since she moved to Jonesboro from Chicago a year ago. She does plan to participate "if I do research and find out what's going on and who's running for what."
More specific qualifications for each municipality is available by calling the respective city halls.