A Jackson County judge has again granted temporary relief to the City of Hoschton to allow its council to continue to function.

Shannon Sell was recently sworn in as the town's new mayor after his challenger, Hope Weeks, withdrew from the race. He joins council members Shantwon Astin and Adam Ledbetter.

According to the town's charter, the mayor cannot vote on normal council matters unless there is a tie, and three votes are required to approve any action. But the council won't have three voting members until the May 19 election when its two remaining empty council seats are filled.

Hoschton filed an emergency petition in the Superior Court of Jackson County last week, asking for relief to allow the town's mayor to vote.

Judge Joe Booth granted that request in a teleconferenced hearing Tuesday morning (April 7), allowing a temporary suspension of the section of the town’s charter that keeps the mayor from voting.

That move gives the council three voting members.

(A similar petition was filed months back when the council was made up of Ledbetter, mayor pro tem, Astin and Weeks.)

The petition listed a number of items the council needs to take action on, including: appointing a city clerk, a planning commission and an ethics board; adopting a city of ethics resolution; authorize a contract for upgrades to the city's waste water treatment plant; to approve plats for major development; and any action related to COVID-19.


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