By Justin Boron
Two Lovejoy City Council candidates, who registered Wednesday, will compete next month in a campaign that looks to be driven by the burgeoning city's pivotal issue - development.
Angela Cannon, 29, and Mike Morris, 45, both recognize growth as an important issue for the city bulging with residential development and home to several new businesses including a Wal-Mart Supercenter.
Cannon, who lost in a special election in September, said development should be slowed in the 2,500-person town situated in the largely agricultural south side of Clayton County. Cannon is an office manager for a local dentist.
She also said the city should move to diversify its business community by welcoming more entertainment establishments.
Morris, the son of former Lovejoy Mayor Walker Morris, said the town has changed dramatically since his father was first elected in 1986. Morris is a Lovejoy businessowner.
But he said the city is ready to grow up and is a cautious proponent of annexation to accommodate the residential boom, saying he wants the public to have more input on council decisions.
The city is facing annexation proposals on the west and east side, where it borders with Henry County.
The developer for a planned 62-home subdivision on Lovejoy Road has intimated that he would pursue annexation from Lovejoy if the Henry County of Board of Commissioners denied his rezoning request. Tuesday night that request was denied.
Also, a proposal to annex about 50 acres on the west side of the city was tabled until the March City Council meeting.
Cannon said she would not support bringing in new property to the city.
Regardless of the issues, neither candidate wanted the race to degenerate into a battle of personal politics.
Morris and Cannon said they hope this election will be more conciliatory than last September's when a city business owner, Ellis Conkle, ran a write-in campaign after being declared ineligible for failing to meet residential prerequisites.
Cannon initially challenged his status and became the source of much of Conkle's criticism.
Wendy Andzeski eventually prevailed in the election.
Instead of running this time around, Conkle said he will throw his support behind Morris and wait until had residency so he could run for mayor.
"I didn't want to go back through the same mess," he said.