Monday, August 26, 2019

Watkinsville To Hold Election For Mayor And One Contested Council Seat

***No Elections: Bogart, North High Shoals, Bishop***

Watkinsville alone among Oconee County’s four cities will hold an election this fall, with two candidates competing for the mayor of the city and two more competing for Post 2 on the City Council.

Incumbent Watkinsville Mayor Dave Shearon and Bob Smith, a real estate agent, filed paperwork last week qualifying for the mayoral contest.

Incumbent Post 2 Council Member Connie Massey and Jonathan Kirkpatrick, a retired federal government employee, qualified for the Post 2 position.

Incumbent Watkinsville Post 1 Council Member Brian Brodrick also qualified, but he will have no opposition on the ballot in November.

Bogart Council Member Brenda Acton and Council Member John Larkin qualified for their seats on Council, but no one qualified to run against them. Janet Jones, currently a member of Council, qualified for mayor, without opposition.

In North High Shoals, Incumbent Mayor Toby Bradberry qualified without opposition, and incumbent Council Member Eric Carlson qualified for Post 1 as the sole candidate.

Hilda Kurtz, a professor at the University of Georgia, qualified for Council Post 4, which currently is vacant and has two years remaining on the term. No one else qualified. No one qualified for Post 2, currently held by Jason Presley.

The terms of Bishop’s mayor and council members do not expire for another two years.

Watkinsville Elections

Shearon, retired businessman who lives at 5 Harden Hill Road, has been mayor only for one two-year term.

Shearon 8/21/2019

Smith, 58 South Main Street, is a former state representative.

Massey, 2 Second Street, a picture framer, has served on council since 2013.

Kirkpatrick lives at 1020 Christian Terrace.

Smith spoke at the most recent Watkinsville Council meeting, asking for a demolition permit for a property at 60 South Main Street. Council denied the request.

Smith 8/21/2019

Kirkpatrick also spoke, saying he was representing a Christian Lake Subdivision Facebook Group and asking for a “return to community policing.”

The pictures of the four in this post are from the video of that meeting.

Terms for mayor and members of Council in Watkinsville are two years.

Bogart And North High Shoals

By switching from the Bogart Council to the position of mayor, Jones will create a vacancy on Council that will be filled by a special election in March, according to Diane Craft, Bogart City Clerk.

Massey 8/21/2019

Bogart, which includes parts of Clarke County, handles it own elections. Terms for mayor and Council are four years.

Fran Leathers, director of Oconee County Elections and Registration, said new advertising will be placed to find a candidate for Post 2 in North High Shoals with the hope of finding a candidate for the November ballot.

The Post 4 vacancy was created when incumbent Paul Dotterweich moved out of the state. Terms for mayor and Council are for four years.

Machine And Precinct Changes

The November election will be the last in the county using the electronic machines voters are familiar with.

Kirkpatrick 8/21/2019

The state has decided to purchase new equipment that will produce a paper ballot for elections starting in 2020.

The County will make three changes in precinct voting for the November election.

The City Hall and Annex precincts will be combined, with elections held at City Hall.

The City of Watkinsville is split between the two precincts, which also include large areas outside the city limits.

The County also will no longer use Malcom Bridge Middle School as the voting location for the precinct that has carried that name. Instead, it will use Marswood Hall at St. Philothea Greek Orthodox Church, 3761 Mars Hill Road.

Voting in North High Shoals will move from the Fire Station to the new City Hall.

City elections are nonpartisan.

No county or state races are on the November ballot.

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