LaGrange calls for special election to fill mayoral seat

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, December 14, 2022

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On Tuesday evening, the LaGrange City Council voted to call for a special election on March 21 to replace former Mayor Jim Thornton.

Thornton resigned in late November to take a position with Georgia Municipal Association (GMA). As mayor pro-tem, Councilman Willie Edmondson has taken over some mayoral duties, including leading the council meeting and earlier work session.

Qualifying will open on Jan. 23, 2023, at 8:30 a.m. and will close on Jan. 25 at 1 p.m.

The fee for qualifying to run will be set at $600, which is 3 percent of the salary for the position.

City Manager Meg Kelsey said in the previous work session that the act of qualifying to run in the election will automatically force the resignation of any current council members.

“Qualifying will eliminate them as a city council member, so the minute they qualify, they will no longer have a city council seat,” Kelsey said.

“We are hopeful that those folks will do it on the 25th because we have a meeting on the 24th,” she said.

They also don’t have to submit a letter of resignation, but the city would prefer them to do so, Kelsey said.

Mayor Pro-Tem Edmondson previously announced his intention to run for the office, saying he intends to qualify on Jan. 25.

The meeting was also the first official meeting for Councilman Leon Childs, who was sworn in at the start of the meeting. Childs recently won the council seat in a special election to replace the late District 2 Councilman LeGree McCamey.

In other business the council:

  • Held a public hearing and first reading on a Board of Planning and Zoning Appeals recommendation to rezone four parcels on Bryant Lake Blvd. to remove previously placed conditions on the property.
  • Held a public hearing and first reading on a Board of Planning and Zoning Appeals recommendation to increase window sign coverage limits.
  • Held a first reading to amend the city’s retirement plan to bring provisions for the city manager in line with similar cities
  • Held a first reading to delete Section 30-5-5 from the city code regarding shooting galleries to clarify that shooting ranges are not allowed within the city.
  • Denied separate claims for damages filed on behalf of Jason L. Hunter and Marie Brady-Friedman.
  • Called for a public hearing on a Board of Planning and Zoning Appeals recommendation on a request to rezone 703 Lincoln Street from Traditional Neighborhood Residential (TN-R) to Traditional Neighborhood Mixed Use (TN-MX).
  • Authorized an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Hogansville for mutual aid.
  • Authorized an amendment to a solar power purchase contract.