It's a busy year for city elections in Newton County with five city mayors and 16 city council members up for election in Newton County and Social Circle in 2011, plus two school board seats in Social Circle.
Qualifying for all positions takes place this week Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Candidates qualify in their city's respective city halls with the exception of Covington candidates who qualify at the Newton County Board of Elections.
All mayors and council members in Newton County and Social Circle are part-time elected officials who are chiefly responsible for setting the city's policies and future vision. Councils also approve changes to the city's laws and
review and adopt an annual budget. All elected positions are four-year terms, except for two special elections to fill remaining terms in Porterdale and Mansfield.
In Covington, Oxford, Porterdale and Social Circle full-time city managers are the top administrative, day-to-day officials, while in Mansfield and Newborn the mayors and council work hand-in-hand with the city clerks, attorneys and other employees.
The mayor's seat and three council seats are up for election in 2011.
Mayor Kim Carter will not seek reelection, but two candidates have already declared - Ronnie Johnston and Bobby Sigman.
Council Post 1, West Ward, held by Janet Goodman is up for election; Goodman qualified to run the seat Monday.
Council Post 2, East Ward, is held by Mike Whatley. Both Whatley and challenger Ronald Martin have declared intentions to run.
Council Post 3, East Ward, is held by Keith Dalton. Dalton and challenger Lamar Brown are the two current candidates.
Qualifying fees are $360 for mayor and $180 for council members. Qualifying fees for all city positions are set at 3 percent of the seat's annual salary.
Candidates can qualify at the Newton County Board of Elections, 1113 Usher Street in Covington.
The number of seats up for election rose to four recently when Councilwoman Arline Chapman resigned her seat to run for mayor. All seats in Porterdale are voted on by the entire city.
Mayor Bobby Hamby has said he will seek reelection and Chapman will also vie for the seat.
The Post 1 council seat is held by Robert Foxworth, who will face competition from Anita Rainey in November.
Post 2 council seat is held by Linda Finger who announced in June she would seek reelection.
The Post 3 council seat will also be decided in November after the Porterdale City Council approved holding a special election - to replace Chapman - at the same time as the regular election. This seat will not serve a full four-year term because Chapman has only two years remaining on her term.
Resident Darlene Savage has announced she will run for a council seat but had not yet settled on a specific post.
Qualifying fees are $35 for mayor and $15 for council seats, and qualifying will take place at city hall, 2400 Main Street.
It's been quiet in Oxford so far this year as no one has yet declared for the mayor's seat or the three council seats, posts 1, 2 and 3.
The respective incumbents are Jerry Roseberry, Frank Davis, George Holt and Hoyt Oliver.
Qualifying fees for mayor are $105 and $75 for council seats; city hall is located at 110 West Clark Street.
Election talk has been similarly quiet in Newborn.
Only two council seats are up for election, Post 1 held by Gene Downs and Post 2 held by Dennis Fincher. Fincher replaced John Donaldson in June, when Donaldson moved out of town.
Qualifying fees for the seats are $25; city hall is located at 4224 Ga. Highway 142.
This is the first election since Newborn went to staggered terms in 2009.
Four positions are up for election in Mansfield, including those of Mayor William Cocchi, Post 1 Orville McGunigal, Post 2 Helen Robertson and Post 4, which is vacant.
Post 4 was held by Larry Haigwood, who died in December 2009 shortly after being reelected. The council opted not to fill the post until this election. This will be a two-year term.
Qualifying fees are $36 for mayor and $18 for council seats; city hall is 3146 Ga. Highway 11. City hall is closed on Wednesdays so candidates cannot qualify that day.
Social Circle is the only city to have elections for two different government bodies because the city has an independent school system.
The mayor's seat and council seats 2 and 4 are up for election this year.
Mayor Jim Burgess has said he will not seek reelection. Residents Hal Dally and Hosea Jackson have announced they will run for mayor.
Councilman David Keener had announced he would seek the post, but dropped out of the race this week; he will retain his post 3 seat.
Post 2 is held by Angela Porter and no one has publically declared they will seek this seat.
Post 4 incumbent Anne Peppers is not planning to seek reelection, but Crenan Mills has said he will run for the seat.
The district 1 and 3 seats on the school board are also up for election. They are held by incumbents Bobbie Barrett and Scott Flanagan. No one has yet declared for the seats.
Qualifying fees are $144 for mayor, $72 for council seats and $18 for school board seats; city hall is at 166 N. Cherokee Road.