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May 14, 2008

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Jefferson, Georgia 30549


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Reed resigns as Baldwin mayor
Special election set Sept. 16
Mark Reed has resigned as mayor of Baldwin to run for a seat in the Georgia House of Representatives.
In a 3-2 vote at this week’s meeting, the council agreed to hold the special election to fill the mayor’s seat on Sept. 16. Council members Jeff Murray and Rodney King voted against that date.
The qualifying dates will be from July 21 through July 23 during normal business hours at city hall. The qualifying fee for the mayor’s seat was set at $35.
At a meeting on May 8, the council had a lengthy discussion about how to fill the mayor’s position. City attorney David Syfan said the city has three choices on dates to hold a special election: July 15, the date of the general primary election; September 16; or on November 4.
Syfan said calling the election for July 15 would mean that both a county and a city election would be held for Baldwin residents. Syfan said this could mean voters would have to vote in two different places and that could be confusing.
But several Baldwin residents spoke out in support of holding the election on July 15, at the same time as the county elections. Baldwin resident Linda Caudell said she had contacted Ann Jarrells, Habersham County Election Superintendent, and was told that if it is 60 days prior to the July 15 election, it can be included on the county election ballot.
Caudell said, “If you let this linger, you get into the national election.”
Council member Robert Bohannon made the motion to approve the ordinance to hold the special election on Sept. 16.
“I’ve been a council member for 26 years,” Bohannon said. “I have lived in Baldwin since 1961. If people are interested in the city and what goes on they’re going to attend meetings and get involved before election time.”
Reed is running as a Republican for the House District 10 seat currently held by Ben Bridges. He has been mayor since November 1995 and has presided over 300-plus council meetings.
At his last meeting on April 28, Reed said that his position as mayor has been the most rewarding experience of his life.
Reed stated that he has seen a lot of progress in Baldwin, including the construction of the wastewater treatment plant, the 4-lane expansion of Hwy. 365, and the construction of the public safety buildings for Baldwin.


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