By Kathy Jefcoats
FOREST PARK — City Council has officially called a March 19 special election to fill vacancies for mayor and Ward 1.
Ward 1 Councilwoman Sparkle Adams resigned Friday to run for mayor, a seat left last year by Corine Deyton, who is ailing. The Ward 2 seat, vacant since the July 2011 ousting of Karen-Brandee Williams, won’t be filled in March because of pending litigation.
Qualifying for both seats begins at 8:30 a.m., Monday, Feb. 11, and continues through 4:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 15, at Forest Park City Hall. Candidates must be residents of Forest Park and registered to vote. Fees are $943 for mayoral candidates and $612 for Ward 1.
City Attorney Joe Harris said it takes about a week for ballots to be printed after qualifying ends so advanced voting begins Monday, Feb. 25, and will continue through Friday, March 15.
The last day to register to vote in the special election is Tuesday, Feb. 19.
If there is a runoff election needed, it will be held Tuesday, April 16.
City Manager John Parker planned ahead for Adams’ expected resignation and reduction of the number of Council members. At the first meeting of the year, he introduced a temporary amendment to the city ordinance governing the quorum. The ordinance allows the city to conduct business with three elected officials, as opposed to five, until the March election.
Linda Lord is mayor pro tem, an appointed position that rotates based on seniority. Maudie McCord and Latresa Akins represent the city as Council members. It is the only all-female municipality board in Clayton County.