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Byrd announces council resignation
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After serving on the Dawsonville City Council for three years, Calvin Byrd has resigned from his seat to run for mayor.

He announced his resignation at a council meeting May 7.

Ten days earlier, acting mayor James Grogan also resigned his seat to run for the post, left vacant by the death in March of Mayor Joe Lane Cox.

Georgia law requires them to resign their council positions before qualifying to run for mayor. Qualifying takes place May 23 25.

In an email to friends, Byrd said he had hoped to continue serving as a council member until the general primary July 31, but the law requires that he resign.

Byrd said he wanted to allow the city council time to appoint another representative. Dawsonville residents Angie Smith and Tommy Hosea, Byrd said, have been asked to consider filling his vacated seat.

Caleb Phillips, nephew of former County Commissioner Tracey Phillips, was sworn in to temporarily fill the seat vacated by James Grogan. Phillips, a 2006 graduate of Habersham High School, said he has no plans to run for city council once his four-month stint ends.

Im not going to run in September, he said. Ive always been interested in politics, and I was asked to donate my time on the city council, and I told them Id be glad to. My first meeting was very exciting.

In other action:

The council approved officials taking part in a course in planning and zoning offered by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia. One city employee, Nalita Copeland, and seven members of the Downtown Development Authority are scheduled to attend on May 23. Total cost to the taxpayer is $760, or $95 per person. Topics include board member ethics and conflicts of interest, differences between variances and rezoning, and special-use permits. The council will consider amending its zoning map to allow pigs and chickens, in small numbers, to be raised inside the city limits. They will be allowed in certain numbers in certain areas ... not next to downtown, said attorney Kevin Tallant, who is filling in for City Attorney Dana Miles. They will be kept away from urban areas.