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Qualifying for city elections at month's end

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

With the exception of the City of Lovejoy, the qualifying period for Clayton County's municipal elections on Nov. 3, will start at the end of this month.

Residents living in House District 75 must also select a replacement for State Rep. Celeste Johnson (D-Jonesboro), who resigned recently.

Qualifying for candidates seeking public offices in Jonesboro will begin Monday, Aug. 31, at Jonesboro City Hall, and continue until Friday, Sept. 4, from 8:30 a.m., to 12:30 p.m., and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

The Jonesboro council members who must face the voters this year are: Rick Yonce, Clarence Mann, and Billy Powell, according to Assistant City Clerk Sandra Meyers. The fee for qualifying is $252 - 3 percent of the $8,400 annual salary paid to council members.

Powell, who took office in 2008, filled the unexpired term of Mayor Luther Maddox, who resigned from the council to run for mayor in 2007. The council positions are "at-large," according to Meyers.

In Lake City, qualifying will take place for three days, Sept. 1-3, at the Lake City Municipal Complex. The seats held by council members Yvonne Kelly and J.B. Sowell are up for election. The cost of qualifying will be $252 - 3 percent of the $8,400 annual salary of Lake City council members, according to City Manager Jerry Garr.

In Forest Park, Mayor Corine Deyton, along with Ward 1 Councilwoman Sparkle Adams, and Ward 2 Councilwoman Debbie Youmans, must try to win voter approval for new terms.

According to Forest Park Elections Superintendent David Painter, qualifying for the city of Forest Park will take place from Monday, Aug. 31, through Friday, Sept. 4, from 8:30 a.m., to 4:30 p.m., at Forest Park. City Hall. The qualifying fee for the mayor's race is $576 - 3 percent of the mayor's $19,200 annual salary. The fee for the city council is $360 - 3 percent of the $12,000 annual salary for council members.

In Morrow, councilmen Bob Huie and Virlyn Slaton will be up again for voter approval. The qualifying period will run from Monday, Aug. 31, to Friday, Sept. 4, from 8:30 a.m., to 4:30 p.m., at the Morrow Municipal Complex.

According to Morrow City Clerk Evyonne Browning, the qualifying fee is $270, based on 3 percent of the $9,000 annual salary of Morrow council members.

In Riverdale, the seats of Ward 1 Councilman Rick Scoggins and Ward 3 Councilwoman Wanda Wallace will be up for election. The qualifying period will take place Monday, Aug. 31, to Friday, Sept. 4, between during the hours of 8:30 a.m., to 1:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m., to 5 p.m.

The fee for qualifying is $288, based on 3 percent of the $9,600 annual salary of Riverdale city council members, according to Stephanie Thomas, Riverdale city clerk.

The City of Lovejoy will not have a municipal election until the year 2011, according to City Manager Marie Burnham. "All of our mayor and council, their terms begin, and end, on the same date," Burnham said. "We will not have an election at this time."

Certain voting precincts in Clayton County will have a special election to fill the seat of State House District 75 Rep. Celeste Johnson, who will officially vacate the office on Aug. 31. According to Matt Carrothers, a spokesperson for the Georgia Secretary of State, the office has yet to set a qualifying date for the special election set for Nov. 3.

"The dates will be set next week," said Carrothers on Monday. "The qualifying fee will be $400. It's a flat fee." According to the Georgia General Assembly, the annual salary for State House seats is $17,341.68.

To qualify for any position in any city, a person must have been a resident of that city for one year immediately preceding the time that person qualified to run for office. The candidate must also be: older than 21 years of age; qualified to vote in the city, or ward, in which he or she is running for office; and must not have a criminal record. For more information, visit the Secretary of State's web site at www.sos.ga.gov.