Nationwide, statewide and countywide elections are typically held in even-numbered years. In odd-numbered years municipalities hold their elections, giving voters the opportunity to choose leaders likely to have the greatest impact on their day-to-day lives. Of the 10 municipalities partly or completely in DeKalb County, eight held elections on Nov. 3. Here are the results.
Terry Giager, a 66-year-old retiree, and Gene Lee, the 35-year-old vice president of Century Woodwork Inc. in Stone Mountain, ran unopposed for two vacated at-large seats on the city commission. They will replace outgoing commissioners Lyda Steadman and Mayor Pro Tem Sandra Varian.
In the only contested race in the city, incumbent Scott Taylor kept his at-large seat on the city council with 225 votes compared to 104 votes for Charles R. Rudd. Taylor, the mayor pro tem, was first elected in 2005 after moving into the district in 2000. Mayor Eric Clarkson ran unopposed as did Mark Wedge for the District 1 seat.
Howard Tygrett defeated council member and Vice Mayor Pat Davis-Morris to win the mayoral race. Tygrett had 193 votes to 124 for Davis-Morris. Davis-Morris had been on the city council since 1997 and left her post to run for mayor. Rosemarie Nelson had 73 votes and Joyce P. Wade had 42 votes. Tygrett replaces Lee Swaney who did not run for re-election.
In the city council race, Dean Moore, Joan Swaney and Adam White each won at-large seats. The trio defeated incumbent Karen Feltz-Eddington who founded Image Clarkston in 1996. Moore got 263 votes, followed by White with 236 and Swaney with 222. Feltz-Eddington had 190 votes.
Three council seats were up for grabs in Doraville where rebuilding and redefining the city after last year’s General Motors plant closure – which employed 4,000 people – was the primary issue.
Doraville’s council may eventually welcome a new face to the council. The race for the District 3 seat is headed for a runoff between Karen Pachuta, who earned 255 votes and about 40 percent of the turnout, and incumbent council member Bob Spangler, who received 196 votes and about 31 percent of the vote. The third challenger, Ginny Calvert, received 151 votes and about 24 percent of the vote, and Clint Howard won 38 votes (about 6 percent). Council member Donna Pittman hung onto her District 1 seat with 382 votes and about 61 percent of the turnout. Stuart Anderson came in second with 159 votes, and John F. Noonan took 88 votes. District 2 council member Brian Bates beat his sole challenger, John Hart, with 384 votes and 62 percent of the turnout. Hart received 233 votes.
Two incumbents and a newcomer took the three at-large city council seats. Incumbent Al T. Franklin, 32, was the top vote-getter with 90, followed by Deborah Jackson with 82. Ric Dodd earned 76 votes and knocked off incumbent Marcus Lloyd, who had 44 votes. Also, Hassan Abdullah had 28 votes.
Franklin and Jackson won a special election in March to fill seats vacated by Tonya Peterson (now mayor) and Linda Pruett, who resigned. Dodd finished third in the special election by one vote.
Pine Lake’s city council will have one new face on it: Cindy Diamond, who managed 108 votes or about 23 percent of the turnout to take one of the city’s three open at-large seats. Sitting council members Kathie DeNobriga and Melanie Hammet kept their seats. DeNobriga received 135 votes – the most in the citywide election – and about 29 percent of the turnout. Hammet received 129 votes.
Significant changes are coming to Stone Mountain’s leadership. Patricia Wheeler is the city’s new mayor, receiving 271 out of 595 votes cast, defeating council member Sharon D. Frierson, who received 97 votes. Beverly R. Jones received 252. Wheeler will replace outgoing Mayor Gary Peet.
Nan Odum Nash, owner of Stone Mountain Old Post Office Emporium, will be the council’s newest member, receiving 248 of 1444 votes to take one of the council’s three open at-large seats. Incumbent council members Susan Coletti and Steve Higgins kept the other two, receiving 378 and 320 votes, respectively.
Stone Mountain voters also approved a governance amendment that will give the city manager sole control over the city’s day-to-day operations, including hiring and firing city employees. The mayor previously was able to oversee those duties, including limited city purchasing. Now, the council will only be able to govern by creating policies and overseeing the city manager.