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Mixed Election System – Council Districts

On April 29, 2009, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue signed House Bill 297 which officially created a new charter for Garden City, Georgia. Included in the new charter is the use of a mixed election system and a change in the composition of the City Council.

Effective January 1, 2012, the total number of elected officials will be reduced by one so that the City council will ultimately consist of seven members, one being the Mayor. Five members will be elected from single-member districts with the Mayor and Mayor Pro-tem being elected at-large, as follows.

(1) The first members from Council Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 shall be elected at the general election on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November, 2011. Those members of the city council elected thereto from Council Districts 1 and 5 in 2011 shall take office the first Monday after the first day of January immediately following that election and shall serve for initial terms of office which expire December 31, 2013, and upon the election and qualification of their respective successors;
(2) Members of the City council elected thereto from Council Districts 2, 3, and 4 in 2011 shall take office the first Monday after the first day of January immediately following an election and shall serve for initial terms of office which expire December 31, 2015, and upon the election and qualification of their respective successors;
(3) The first at-large member shall be elected at the general election on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November 2011. The at-large member so elected shall take office the first Monday after the first day of January immediately following that election. The at-large member shall serve for an initial term of office which expires on December 31, 2013;
(4) The mayor shall be elected at the general election on the Tuesday following the first Monday, in November 2011. The mayor shall take office on the first Monday after the first day of January immediately following that election and shall serve for an initial term of office which expires on December 31, 2015, and upon the election and qualification of the mayor’s successor; and
(5) Those and all future successors to the mayor and members of city council whose terms of office are to expire shall be elected at the time of the municipal general election immediately preceding the expiration of such terms, shall take office the first Monday after the first day of January immediately and shall serve for terms of office of four years each. The mayor and members of city council shall serve for the terms of office specified in the charter and until their respective successors are elected and qualified.

This mixed election system, combining at-large and single-member elections, will blend the city-wide perspective of the at-large council members with the local concerns and accountability of district council members and ensure that all geographic and minority populations continue to be properly represented.

City Council District Map
County Commissioners District Map
Preclearance Letter from the Department of Justice
Process of transitioning from at-large to districts