Small town in Montgomery County could legally disappear

Published: Sep. 30, 2016 at 8:40 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 30, 2016 at 9:25 PM EDT
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MONTGOMERY CO., GA (WTOC) - You can't have an election without any candidates. South Georgia's Tarrytown finds itself scrambling for a new generation of leaders after no one put their hat in the ring for an upcoming election.

WTOC sat down with the retiring mayor, as she worries about what happens next.

She worries that Tarrytown could legally disappear and local treasures like this restored depot would fade away if nobody steps forward to lead the town.

Lynette Coleman has been mayor a dozen years, and says it's time for her to retire. Terms for she and the council end in January, but no one entered the race during qualifying in August. Coleman says it leaves her searching for an answer for the town's future.

"I've read our charter. It doesn't say what to do if you have nobody qualify," Coleman said.

Coleman worries the town could lose its charter with out elected leaders and revert to an unincorporated part of the county, with little voice or representation. She's sad nobody's stepped up to assume the work of a wide open office.

"Since everybody knew I wasn't going to run again, it just breaks my heart," she said.

The state chartered Tarrytown in 1912. Back then, city officials were responsible among other things for rounding up stray horses and chickens. Now, they oversee the town of 50 or so people, keep up the city cemetery, and work with nearby Soperton for the town's water service.

The mayor hopes a town hall meeting next month can generate some interest and get some to put their names on the ballot.

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