Five Homer residents have filed a lawsuit against the mayor and city council because they don’t believe they are getting equal representation in the newly-created districts.
Earl Tyson, Annette Tyson, Linda Guabelly, Amanda Acton and Emily Acton, as well as Banks County Golf LLC and Green Ridge Builders of Georgia filed the lawsuit against the Town of Homer, the mayor and each of the council members and the city clerk. The lawsuit is also filed against the Banks County Board of Elections and elections supervisor and registrar Andra Phagan.
The individual plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit are voters in District 3 in the Town of Homer. The business plaintiffs are owners of land “to be sold to approximately 300 prospective voters in District 3,” according to the lawsuit.
In 2020, Homer Town Council sought and achieved changes in Homer’s Town Council districts. The town council representation was changed to having two seats for District 1, two seats for District 2 and one seat for District 3.
The lawsuit states, “This change occurred despite the growing number of residents and voters in District 3. The Homer defendants’ changes result in Districts 1 and 2 having double the representative on the town council compared to District 3. The Homer defendants have wrongfully given unequal greater weight to Districts 1 and 2 over the votes in residents in District 3.”
District 3 is a newer residential subdivision near a golf course and it contains “a large and geographically compact group of voters,” according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also states, “The individual plaintiffs are harmed as residents and voters of the Town of Homer, they are being treated as second-class citizens by Defendants in terms of their voting rights, in comparison with District 1 and District 2 residents and voters.”
Homer has 1,200 residents and approximately 800 voters.