Fort Oglethorpe Council & Walker Co. SPLOST Elections

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: Ashley Henderson
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Updated: 11/05/2013 6:27 pm
NORTH GEORGIA (WDEF-TV) - There may be a record turnout of voters in Fort Oglethorpe because of the bitter conflict among city council candidates and their supporters.
And in Walker county, an effort to continue the Special Purpose Local Option sales tax is bringing voters to the polls.

There were 608 early votes in the Fort Oglethorpe city council race, and 60 absentee ballots.
That's the biggest turnout for this kind of election in years. And it's based on a heated controversy from last March when the police chief, public works director and city manager were tossed out.
Three council seats are up, including that of Earl Gray, who disagreed with the house cleaning.
Now, last minute comments from both sides.

PAULA STINNETT, CANDIDATE "When I was kicked out of the city council meeting, I realized that the people were not being listened-to in Ft. "O" by the city council."

LOUIS HAMM, COUNCIL MEMBER "We need to have some of the bitterness and the hatred and the vengence and all that put behind us."

CRAIG CRAWFORD, CANDIDATE "No matter what the outcome is, I think people will know that there's some disappointment going on right now..and it'll be time to heal."

SCOTT CHASTAIN, CANDIDATE "We're kind of getting to the point now where...even if you don't agree, you can agree to disagree."

ARLENE WALKER,CANDIDATE "Even when you're working with the opposed, you can still do so in a dignified, adult manner."

CLAY KISSNER, COUNCIL MEMBER "There is a lot of bitterness in our community right now and I think it revolves around one of our county commissioners."

That Catoosa county commissioner is Jeff Long, who also served as the Fort Oglethorpe Public Works director, until he was fired in March.

JEFF LONG, COUNTY COMMISSIONER "A lot of city residents are going to get out and speak. I think that's why we've had the largest early voting turnout ..The people wants to take the city back."

Fort Oglethorpe voters are also deciding whether to allow alcohol sales on Sundays.

Walker county voters are turning out to decide whether to continue the SPLOST for another six years.
Voting in the northern part of the county was light at mid-afternoon, but stronger in LaFayette.


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