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City council qualifying gets under way this week
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At least four people have said they plan to run for two seats on the Dawsonville City Council this fall.


But as of Tuesday morning, just one had qualified to run on the Nov. 3 ballot.


The election is citywide, with the seats going to the top two vote-getters.


Qualifying continues from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Friday in the city clerk’s office at City Hall, 415 Hwy. 53 East, Suite 100, in downtown Dawsonville.


“We are looking forward to meeting all the candidates this week, both new and old, and are expecting a great election this year,” said City Clerk Kim Cornelison.


Political newcomer Calvin Byrd said he put much thought and prayer into his decision to qualify Monday.


“We have welcomed some businesses to the downtown area recently, and I want to continue that trend,” he said. “I want to help those who have recently set up shop here, as well as bring in more.”


A native of Dawson County whose ties to the community date back several generations, Byrd said he also wants to keep the historic district in tact.


Councilwoman Linda Grant is seeking re-election to a second, four-year term.


“There’s still a lot I’d like to see done in Dawsonville,” she said. “We’ve accomplished a lot. You can see that just by looking at Dawsonville and the sidewalks.


“I’d like to see the city continue progressing like it has, and would still like to see more things done for our youth.”


Councilman Jonathan Cox, whose term also expires Dec. 31, could not be reached for comment. However, he has previously said he plans to seek re-election.


Former Councilman Frank Craft will also be campaigning for a council post.


He said he is tired of being represented by what he describes as a council that is too afraid to think on its own.


“I don’t think a vote should always be 4-0,” said Craft, who promises conservative and honest votes.


“Someone has got to have a different opinion about what happens in the city and voice those opinions,” he added.


Craft served four years on the council before being elected to the Dawson County commission in 2004. He resigned that post in 2007 to make an unsuccessful bid for mayor of Dawsonville, falling short to Joe Lane Cox.


The city’s elected administration includes a mayor and four council members, each of whom serve four-year terms.


To be eligible, a candidate must have lived in the city for at least a year prior to the election.


Candidates must also be registered and qualified to vote in the city, meet qualification standards and pay the $180 qualifying fee.


If elected, the official must live in the city during his or her term.