The City of Gainesville will hold its next General Election on November 5, 2013. This election will provide for the first elected Mayor as allowed by the Charter approved by Governor Deal on April 11, 2012. It will also address Council Member and Board of Education Member seats for Wards 1 and 4. Read the City's Election Guide to obtain more helpful information about the upcoming election. Use the links below to view sample ballots or to apply for an Absentee Ballot.
Anyone desiring to vote prior to November 5 may do so via Absentee Ballot or Early Voting. Absentee Ballots will be available in the Hall County Elections and Registrars Office beginning October 4. Early voting will begin at the Hall County Elections and Registrars Office on October 14 and will end November 1. Service will be provided from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. Registered voters as of October 7, 2013 will be allowed to vote in this election.
The City has a contract with the Hall County Elections and Registrars Office to conduct the election. Absentee Ballot Applications, sample ballots and other information relevant to voting are also available at http://www.hallcounty.org/judicial/jud_elections.asp.
General Power and Authority of the City Council
Except as otherwise provided by law or the Charter, the governing body shall be vested with all the powers of government of the City. In addition to all other powers conferred upon it by law, the governing body shall have the authority to adopt and provide for the execution of such ordinances, resolutions, rules, and regulations, not inconsistent with the Charter and the Constitution and the laws of the State of Georgia, which it shall deem necessary, expedient, or helpful for the peace, good order, protection of life and property, health, welfare, sanitation, comfort, convenience, prosperity, or well-being of the inhabitants of the City of Gainesville and may enforce such ordinances by imposing penalties for violations thereof.
Powers and Duties of the Mayor
- Preside at meetings of the governing body where he or she shall have all the rights, powers, duties, and responsibilities of a Council Member except that the Mayor shall not make a motion or second a motion and shall be entitled to vote on matters before the governing body only when there is an equal division on the question or in the case where his or her vote will provide the fourth affirmative vote required for approval of a matter, and then the Mayor shall determine the matter by his or her vote. The Mayor shall also be entitled to vote on the election and removal of the following officers and employees of the Council: Mayor Pro Tempore, City Manager, City Attorney, Municipal Court Judge, Solicitor and City Auditor;
- Be the head of the City for the purpose of service of process and for ceremonial purposes and be the official spokesperson for the City and the chief advocate of policy;
- Have power to administer oaths and to take affidavits; and
- Sign all ordinances and resolutions approved by a majority vote of the governing body and other instruments executed by the City which by law are required to be signed by the Mayor.
General Powers of the Board of Education
- Management of school district. The school district shall be under the government, management, and control of a board of education, hereafter referred to as the "board."
- General powers. The board shall possess all powers as are granted to boards of education under the Constitution and general laws of the State of Georgia, together with those other specific additional powers set forth in this Act.
- Title, care, and custody of property. The board is vested with the title, care, and custody of all real or personal property used in the school district for educational purposes or for the administration of the school district, with the power to control such property in such manner as it thinks will best serve the interest of the public schools. Title to the properties known as Centennial Elementary School, Enota Elementary School, Fair Street Elementary School, Gainesville Elementary School, Gainesville Middle School, and Gainesville High School and all other property associated and under the control of the present Gainesville City School System shall be and is vested in the board, with title to all infrastructure supporting the provision of general governmental services to these tracts including utilities and public roads to remain vested in the city.
- Authority to levy ad valorem taxes.
- The board shall annually recommend to the mayor and council of the City of Gainesville the rate of the tax levy, not greater than the mills per dollar authorized and allowed under the laws and Constitution of the State of Georgia, necessary for the support, maintenance, and operation of the public schools of the City of Gainesville. The mayor and council shall levy the tax so certified by the board upon the assessed value of taxable property in the city for the purposes so specified by the board.
- The board shall pay all expenses incurred for the levy and collection of ad valorem taxes for the support and maintenance of education in the school district and may contract for such services as provided in this Act or under Georgia law.
- After complying with the procedure for authorization of bonded debt set forth in Georgia law and applicable to public school districts, the board shall have the power and authority to issue bonds or notes, or both, for capital outlay purposes, which may include buying and improving property for educational purposes and for the construction and maintenance of public schools, administrative offices, and storage, maintenance, transportation, and other facilities established and maintained under the direction of the board, provided that the debt that may be created under this paragraph shall never exceed any limitations established by the Constitution or laws of the State of Georgia. Any millage limitation referred to in this section shall not apply to the school tax levy necessary for the payment of the bonded indebtedness of the school district and shall apply only to the portion of the school tax levied for the support, maintenance, and operation of the school district.
- The board shall assume the contractual obligations of the city pursuant to the agreement entered into between the city and the Hall County Board of Education on October 20, 1992.
Qualifying fees were established via Business Resolution 2013-08. They were published on January 31st and are set as follows:
- Mayor - $35.00
- Council Member - $621.00
- Board of Education Member - $165.87
The qualifying period was set via Business Resolution 2013-33. It will begin on August 26th at 8:30 AM and will close on August 28th at 4:30 PM. Qualifying will be conducted by the City Clerk in the Administration Building (third floor, Suite 304). The physical address is 300 Henry Ward Way.
Qualifying packets can be obtained from the City Clerk. They contain the required forms and other pertinent information. Anyone desiring to obtain a qualifying packet is encouraged to schedule an appointment to avoid scheduling conflicts.
Qualifying as a Pauper requires the submission of a financial statement and a petition containing at least 110 signatures of registered and eligible voters in accordance with the State of Georgia Election Code. Individuals desiring to qualify as a Pauper or as a Write-In Candidate should make contact at their earliest convenience to obtain additional information.
Questions should be submitted to City Clerk Denise Jordan via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.