Richmond Hill prepares to hold special election for city council seat

Richmond Hill prepares to hold special election for city council seat
A Richmond Hill city council meeting. (Source: WTOC)

RICHMOND HILL, Ga. (WTOC) - The city of Richmond Hill is looking to fill yet another vacant city council seat.

Mark Ott’s resignation came as a surprise to the mayor and city council members. Mayor Russ Carpenter says he hopes whoever is elected to fill Ott’s seat will help bring stability to the council.

Ott’s term was set to run until 2023 but now a special election will need to be held to find his replacement.

Mayor Carpenter says unfortunately this is something the city is used to seeing when it comes to trying to maintain a strong city council.

When it comes to funding for the special election, city clerk Dawnne Greene says it would come out of the city’s general administration fund, but it wouldn’t be cheap and it’s not something that they budgeted for.

From staffing and additional PPE because of COVID-19, a special election will cost the city about $8,000, which could force them to cut back on spending in certain areas.

Not to mention this would be the first election with the city’s new voting machines.

Mayor Carpenter says he’s hopeful they will find the right fit.

“Sometimes it’s not the best job in the world and sometimes it’s quite demanding,” said Mayor Carpenter. “We don’t want people that are just going to agree with everyone else on council or even myself, that’s not a good city government. You want dynamic input, you want divergent views and you want a diverse council, so that’s what we’re shooting for. Somebody who will say hey I’m a part of a team, let’s consider it this way or maybe let’s do it that way.”

Mayor Carpenter says they are looking to hold a special election on March 16, with advanced voting Feb. 22 to March 12.

The qualifying period for anyone interested in filling the position will be held Tuesday, Jan. 26 through Thursday, Jan. 28.

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