NEWBORN — The Newborn Town Council will hold one more public hearing regarding a proposed charter change before submitting it to the Georgia General Assembly.
The hearing will take place at the council's regular meeting at 7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 6, at Town Hall. The charter change is necessary so the council can appoint a council member to Post 2, which is vacant because no one qualified for the seat, which was to be filled during the November municipal election.
Two public hearings and advertisement in the county's legal organ are required before the amendment can be submitted to the General Assembly. The first public hearing took place Jan. 23. At the Feb. 6 meeting, the council will consider a formal resolution requesting the General Assembly to introduce a bill to amend the charter.
The amendment adds "failure to elect a council member" as a reason that an office may become vacant, in addition to an official's death, resignation, forfeiture or office or removal from office.
It also specifies that the council may appoint a new member for the entire term if the vacancy is caused by failure to elect. Otherwise, the appointment is for the duration of the unexpired term. The current charter does not address the issue of how to fill a vacant seat should no one qualify or be elected.
The Post 2 seat was initially a two-year term seat, after the town adopted staggered terms beginning in 2010, with two council members serving for two years and two for four years. Previously, the entire council, including the mayor, was up for election at the same time. With the initial two-year term now complete, the appointment to Post 2 will serve a full four-year term.
John Donaldson was elected to Post 2 in November 2009 and held the seat from January 2010 until June 2011. After Donaldson resigned because he was moving outside town limits, Dennis Fincher was appointed to fill the unexpired term. Fincher opted not to run for re-election and there were no other qualifiers. The post has been empty since the first of the year. Once the General Assembly approves the charter amendment, the council will appoint a new member.