Mayor and City Council Prepare for Annual Retreat

By: Winnie Anne Wright Email
By: Winnie Anne Wright Email

Winnie Anne Wright
January 9, 2014

Valdosta, GA - Valdosta's Mayor and City Council will hold their annual retreat January 10th and 11th to discuss city issues and projects. One issue, spearheaded by Councilman Sonny Vickers, deals with the use of runoff elections which are held if a candidate does not receive 50% of the vote plus one vote. He says run off elections are a waste of money for The City and the candidate.

"I would like for us to look at it, and get some input from citizens and how they feel about it and what have you, so I'm just starting the conversation", says Vickers.

The move comes after The City's most recent runoff election, for the District Two City Council Seat cost tax payers $4,300. With only 175 voters turning out, that's nearly $25 a vote.

Vickers says he also plans to meet with state officials to see if The City of Valdosta would be able to amend it's charter to a majority rules system. Mayor Gayle says he's willing to discuss the issue, but isn't sure he agrees.

"I personally feel like when a person gets elected, they should have 50% of their district's vote. It's kind of saying 'well these people have confidence in me', as opposed to maybe if you were elected with only 30% of the vote, you would wonder if that many people had that much confidence in you."

One of the other hot-button issues the group plans to discuss is how the Mayor and Council will be paid. Gayle says he would like to see deductions from pay for members that miss important events.

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