Council Changes Highlight 2011 in Government
These are the five stories we believe were the top government headlines of the past year. Did we miss your favorite stories or news on an issue important to you? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Some of the biggest headlines from our coverage of local governments involved the people chosen to run them. Here are our choices for the five top government stories of the year, in no particular order.
The Paulding County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved in August the fiscal year 2012 budget for the county. Though the budget featured no millage increase, county residents as a result of the approved budget saw an increase in the number of employee furlough days—resulting in the closure of county offices on those days—reductions in county library staff and hours of operation, cuts to Paulding County Animal Control’s shelter hours of operations and more.
More than 55 percent of Hiram residents who took part in the Nov. 8 elections gave their approval to Sunday package sales of alcohol in the city. The will of the voters took effect earlier this month after the Hiram City Council amended the city’s alcohol ordinance to allow such sales.
Carmen Rollins in June announced that she would step down from the office of mayor effective July 1. Mayor Pro Tem Jack Paris took over for Rollins as interim mayor in July and went on to win his own term in the office after facing no opposition in November’s elections.
Rollins’ husband, Prather "Pep" Rollins, will begin next month a term in the Hiram City Council Post 1 seat after defeating fellow contender Steve Bray in last month’s elections. In Hiram's Post 2 council race, Kathy Bookout unseated incumbent Helena Williams after taking 73 percent of the vote.
Dallas' mayor of 16 years will serve four more, as Boyd Austin Jr. fended off a challenge by Marvin Tingler by earning 439 votes to Tingler's 368, or 54.3 to 45.5 percent of the votes cast, in the Nov. 8 elections. The Dallas elections also saw Jim Henson edging out Brian Ragsdale in the city’s sole contested council race, while incumbents Mike Cason and James Kelly won their Ward 2 and at large council seats, respectively.
In the month prior to municipal elections, officials with the city of Dallas mourned the death of Councilman Kelly Carter, who had served on the council for nearly 22 years. The council earlier this month appointed Carter’s son, Chris, to fill his father’s unexpired term, marking the third generation of the Carter family to serve the city. The late Clarence D. “Buck” Carter also was as a city councilman, having served in the 1960s.