The city elections are almost complete. The race for mayor in Kingsland will need a runoff election on December 4 to finalize the results.
In past elections, a plurality system was used to determine the winner which means the person to gain the most votes wins. The system was changed in 2011 for future elections to a majority voting system where candidates must achieve 50 percent plus one vote to win. If not, a runoff between the top two candidates receiving the most votes occurs.
Kingsland Councilman Grayson Day vacated Post 3 to run for mayor where he received 42.06 percent of the vote while the incumbent Mayor Kenneth Smith received 24.71 percent of the vote.
“While we would rather have taken a decisive win [sic], we are thrilled with the outcome and already excited about the runoff. Kingsland’s voters have spoken, and it is clear that they are ready for a change in the Mayor’s seat. I’m very thankful for all the support thus far and I’m ready to take on Smith head to head on December 4th,” said Grayson Day.
The other contested race in Kingsland was Post 4 where Alex Blount defeated Gary Faraon with 76.28 percent of the vote. Faraon was known in that race as the candidate who tried to get both Alex Blount and Grayson Day kicked off the ballot citing violations of the Hatch Act. Day is a school teacher for Camden County Schools, and Blount works for a private military contractor on Kings Bay Subase.
“I’m very thankful for all the residents who have shown confidence in me by giving me their support. I am ready to get to work!” – Alex Blount
According to an attorney, Tanis Miller, for the Professional Standards Commission, who governs teacher certificates, “the Hatch Act does not prohibit a teacher from engaging in political activity such as running for local office. The Hatch Act Modernization Act of 2012 allows state and local employees to run for partisan political office so long as their salary is not entirely funded by federal loans or grants.”
The other Council race in Kingsland was Post 3 where businessman Lamar Stokes went unopposed and won the seat outright.
ST. MARYS –
The results in St. Marys yielded two new council members for Posts 1 and 2.
Artie Jones Jr. won the seat over W.B. King with 76.92 percent of the vote for Post 1. King was a member of the Planning Commission who passed the controversial planning and zoning codes onto the current City Council for passage.
Artie Jones thanked his supporters and his opponent Mr. King on his campaign Facebook Page.
In Post 2, Jim Goodman defeated the incumbent Elaine Powierski with 59.39 percent of the vote. Goodman feels the voters selected him because of the discontent about current policies from the Council.
Jim Goodman, who won Post 2, sent AllOnGeorgia-Camden the following statement:
I would like to personally thank all of those who voted in the Tuesday election. I especially want to thank those who supported me with your vote and I promise to always remember why you chose me.
I would be remiss if I did not thank my worthy opponent, Elaine Powierski, who conducted a very clean and honest campaign, in keeping with her character. Candidly, I would never have challenged Post 2 if I had known Elaine was going to run for another term. My information at the time of qualifying was that she had chosen not to run again. It is unfortunate that the early missteps of others at qualifying have resulted in her being unseated – I would not have chosen to do that. I have expressed this sentiment to Elaine personally, asking for any assistance she is willing to offer. She has graciously offered to assist me by providing her copies of current documents, thus continuing to be a good steward with expensive city assets.
My assessment is that I won not so much because of my potential to be a good councilman, but largely because of the palpable discontent for the status quo in city governance on the part so many voters. I will be ever cognizant of that as I proceed, and I gently suggest that other council members might want to bear that in mind if they wish to continue to serve.
To those who chose to criticize me by stating that I will be incapable of achieving anything because I am not a “team player,” to some degree you may be right. I am not inclined to “go along to get along,” choosing rather to simply state a thoughtful, analytical, and well-vetted opinion, and to keep restating it until it begins to take effect. I do not care to be a part of any course of action which places unnecessary wants above demonstrable needs, and I will temper my action based on common sense and good stewardship. That again is my estimation of why I have been chosen by the voters to represent them.
Many people have expressed opinions about a “them and us” division separating parts of the city. I choose not to subscribe to that, but rather to approach each voter as a distinct individual, regardless of what part of town they call their neighborhood. I certainly do not think any neighborhood deserves to be treated with any deference and I will insist upon attending to matters of necessity before any frivolous projects are given preference.
I welcome contact from citizens and I will endeavor to make myself available to meet with anyone. I request that you contact me by Email at firstname.lastname@example.org for the time being, pending assignment of a city Email account.
Thanks again for your support. I look forward to representing you and working hard for St. Marys.
Incumbent Jim Gant won the race for St. Marys Council Post 3 over Jay Moreno by 70.82 percent of the vote. Out of all the City Council elections in St. Marys, that post received the least amount of ballots cast.
The candidates will be sworn into their respective offices in January 2019.
The incumbent Kingsland Mayor Kenneth Smith and incumbent St. Marys Councilman Jim Gant were contacted for a comment, but he did not respond before publishing. Smith is in the runoff election against Grayson Day did not have any statement on his campaign page. Jim Gant did not have a page.