Tuesday, January 6, 2015

District 7 Special Election

UPDATE 2/11/2015: The voter registration deadline for March 17, 2015 Special Election is Tuesday, February 17, 2015. Residents desiring to register to vote, or change their name or address on the voter registration list may do so online at http://mvp.sos.state.ga.us/ or at the Richmond County Board of Elections Office located at 535 Telfair Street, Suite 500 in Augusta, Georgia. 

Office hours for the Richmond County Board of Elections are from 8:30 AM until 5:00 PM. Individuals may also download the mobile app “GA Votes” or visit My Voter Page at http://mvp.sos.state.ga.us/ to register to vote, get sample ballots, locate their polling place, find out about Advance Voting, and more. Applications for voter registration will not be accepted via fax or email.

In order to be a registered voter in Georgia a person must be a citizen of the United States and of the State of Georgia; be at least 17 1⁄2 years of age; be a resident of the county or municipality in which he or she seeks to vote; cannot currently be serving a felony conviction; and cannot have been judicially determined to be mentally incompetent for voting purposes.

Absentee voting by mail and Advance Voting will begin Monday, February 23, 2015. Written requests for an absentee ballot by mail will be accepted by mail, fax, email, or by delivery to the Board of Elections Office. In-person Advance Voting will be held at the Municipal Building Vote Center at 535 Telfair Street only. The last day for voting by mail and Advance Voting will be Friday, March 13, 2015.

Voters seeking additional information may contact the Board of Elections Office at (706) 821-2340 or www.augustaga.gov/boe .

1/14/2015: At the end of the qualifying period, Sean Frantom, Louis Harris and Sonny Pittman are officially on the race for District 7.

Pittman, 68, serves as Augusta-Richmond County Planning Commissioner for the District. He also is a former three-term chairman of the Augusta-Richmond County Historic Preservation Commission, former member of the Augusta-Richmond County Downtown Riverfront Development Review Board and SPLOST 5 Citizens Advisory Committee member. He is a retired banker and retired U.S. Army officer with 40 years of military service.

Meeting of the BOE on January 12, 2015.

The now candidate requested early voting for the District 7 race to be held at the Warren Road Recreational Center but the Richmond County Board of Elections didn’t approved his petition. He petitioned for the location as President of the West End Neighborhood Alliance (WENA). 

"What does he own," was a question Grady Smith asked everyone he encountered when he was running against Sean Frantom in 2010. Today Smith is the Mayor Pro-Tem (Chairman or Speaker of the Augusta Richmond County Commission) and if Frantom is elected Commissioner he might have some answer for him.

Harris, a local insurance agent and member of the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority is a close friend of Grady Smith. Harris also served as a campaign organizer for Smith. That is why his appointment as Interim Commissioner was disputed by WENA. 

Cyber Debate

I'm not going to hold my two opponents youth and inexperience against them.

I loved that debate and how the camera cut across President Reagan and caught Senator Mondale laughing so hard.

We live in a wonderful country!

Honestly, I hate motivational speakers. And, he's already started in about how he's going to "motivate the old people in west Augusta and get us engaged in the political process....etc.....etc." What planet did he come from? Most of the "old folks" in D7 are over 50, well-educated, involved in the community and keep up with what's going in Augusta and the world. Oh, and he's "going to teach us how important it is to get out and vote." Maybe, someone needs to tell him that D7 voters lead the county in voter turnout in every election. But, at least he can keep Grady's appointee to D7's commission seat from falling asleep - I hope.

I was talking to a supporter earlier tonight who call to ask me couple of questions and tell me about her issues with animal control and she called our new mayor pro tem, "Two-vote Grady" a couple of times. It reenforced my opinion of how well my neighbors and fellow taxpayers in D7 keep up with what's going on down at the Marble Palace.

And for what's it's worth to fellow commenters: I don't think we're going to get a SPLOST 7 passed by D7 voters -- PERIOD. Even if most of it's devoted to infrastructure. 22+7.5 will not be long forgotten by the folks who contribute the bulk of the tax revenues that go downtown.

The only time taxpayers in West and South Augusta get acknowledged by our "City" government is when it's time to collect our property taxes.

My biggest regret is that Donnie got in trouble and had to resign. I spent a lot of time with him going to look at problems and needs he was asked to address in our district. I've known and worked with about 10 or so West Augusta commissioners over the years - starting with Mackie Mulherin when I was 16 and asked his help to get a huge pothole fixed - and Donnie was one of the best at returning calls and going out to talk with fellow citizens in D7 when they called asking help with getting something built or repaired.

I hope I get elected to finish out his term in March. That's one of the things I want to do as well.

Sonny Pittman

Great, now Augusta is faced with footing the bill for a special election AND a runoff. Can we send the bill to Donnie Smith?


Pittman would have easily beaten Harris. Now it may not happen. Frantom is the ultimate joiner and networker. Why is he in the race? He's a member of everything and that bothers me. His job is heading the development for the charity Ronald McDonald House. He is going to be a commissioner and run a charity at the same time? There's something quirky about that situation.


What's the relevant difference between running a charity and being a pastor while being on the Commission or being the Mayor?


Do you feel like we do? Then choose Sean Frantom for District 10
The Augusta Chronicle Editorial Staff
Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010
Voters often must lament choosing between the lesser of two evils. In this case, they have the providential task of picking between the greater of two goods.

Either Sean Frantom or Grady Smith would make excellent Augusta commissioners for "super" District 10, succeeding the term-limited Don Grantham.

But no other local body has benefited as much from Augusta's burgeoning youth movement as the Augusta Commission. Sean Frantom would be a marvelous extension of that promising change.

We love the 31-year-old's energy, enthusiasm and forward-looking ideas. We think he's in it for the right reasons -- because he wants to serve Augusta and help it improve across the geographic and economic spectrum.

When asked his priorities, he talks first of beefing up security and fighting crime -- not just through the sheriff's department, but also by seeking more accountability throughout the community -- from government department heads to elected officials to ordinary citizens. His call on citizens to take better care of their property is mindful of the "broken window" theory of crime reduction, which holds that if you take care of the little things, the big things improve as well.

He supports giving the city administrator the power to hire and fire department heads, an authority which is sorely lacking: Currently, a department head must run afoul of six of the 10 commissioners to be fired, which gives renegade employees unwarranted political insulation.

Frantom is founding member and president of the Young Professionals of Augusta, a civic club that brings together up-and-coming leaders. It's a significant effort to grow a culture of positivity in the community and to get young leaders communicating with each other. The group has been exposed to a number of distinguished speakers on various topics, and has performed community service projects and hosted charitable events.

He's also a member of the First Saturday cleanup crew that has targeted areas of the city for beautification -- an effort he, and we, would like to see broadened to truly make this the "Garden City" Augusta likes to call itself.

A graduate of Georgia College and State University with a BBA in management, and an executive in the employee staffing business, Frantom's outgoing and upbeat demeanor are still badly needed on an Augusta Commission that has made great strides in recent elections but admittedly had a long way to go from the bad old days of walkouts, votes thwarted by abstentions, and racial division.
We're almost there. A vote for Sean Frantom for Super 10 -- which encompasses commission Districts 3, 6, 7 and 8 -- will be another huge step toward a more united and cohesive Augusta.

Please vote for Sean Frantom for District 10 Augusta commissioner in the Nov. 2 election.

AUGUSTA, GA (PR) 1/6/2015 - Qualifying for the Special Election in Augusta Commission District 7 for the unexpired term of resigned Donnie Smith will open Monday, January 12, 2015 at 9:00 AM and will close Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 12:00 NOON. The balance of the term of office will expire on December 31, 2016.

Qualifying will take place in the Board of Elections Office, 535 Telfair Street, Suite 500, Augusta, Georgia.

The qualifying fee for the office of Augusta Commission is $360.00. In order to be eligible to seek the office of Augusta Commission a person must be at least 21 years of age, must have been a resident of the State of Georgia for at least two years immediately prior to the date of the election and must have been a resident of the district for at least one year immediately prior to the date of the election.

The date of the Special Election will be Tuesday, March 17, 2015. A runoff, if necessary, will be held on Tuesday, April 14, 2015. The voter registration deadline is Tuesday, February 17, 2015.

The possibility of opening and Advance Voting station at Warren Road Community Center will be discussed Monday 12 by the Board of Elections. (UPDATE: No action on this item)

For more information regarding qualifying, please contact the Board of Elections Office at (706) 821-2340.

Louis "Hap" Harris is currently holding the seat until March 17.

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