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District 2 council election is Tuesday
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Sheriff’s race early voting starts Oct. 25

Early voting to elect a new Liberty County Sheriff will begin on Oct. 25 and end on Oct. 29, according to the Liberty County Board of Elections and Registration.
The special election for sheriff will be held on Nov. 2, in conjunction with the general election. The last day to register to vote in the special election is Oct. 4.
A special election was called after the death of Sheriff J. Don Martin in May. Polly Martin, Don Martin’s widow, is currently serving as interim sheriff.
There are seven candidates vying for the position: Bobby Ryon, Warren Waye, Mark Floyd, Jerald Burgess, Jimmie Jones, Steve Sikes and Quinton “Red” O’Neal.
Early voting will be conducted at the Voters Registration office now located at 204 W. Memorial Drive next to the Hinesville Public Library.
For more information, call 876-3310.
Tuesday, Hinesville District 2 residents will vote for a new city council member. A special election to fill the empty council seat will be held from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Sept. 21 at the Shuman Recreation Center in James Brown Park, Liberty County Elections Supervisor Ella Golden said.
Candidates Jason Floyd and Charlene Parlett are vying for the seat left vacant on July 2, when former Hinesville City Council member Bobby Ryon qualified to run for Liberty County Sheriff. The sheriff’s race will be decided Nov. 2.
Floyd, a banker, and Parlett, a small-business owner, have placed fiscal responsibility at the top of their to-do lists if elected.
“I want to make sure all spending decisions make sense for the citizens of Hinesville,” Floyd said, adding that the city can invest in “vital services and infrastructure” without raising taxes.
Parlett also describes herself as “fiscally conservative.” She intends to balance the city’s need to grow with “keeping the operating expenses of the city within budget.”
“We can avoid the need to increase the tax burden on our citizens by encouraging people to live, work and shop in Hinesville, increasing the city’s budget through growth of our economy rather than higher taxes,” she said.
The candidates also offered their opinions on a number of recent controversies, including the city’s trip to China and the vote to raise the mayor and council members’ salaries.
Parlett said she was “not clear” on the benefits the city will reap from its trip to China. City and county officials along with representatives from Savannah and Brunswick depart for China today to promote economic growth and engage in cultural exchange.
Floyd agreed with Parlett, saying he too would like to have more specific information about why the trip is necessary. He added if the sole purpose is for the trip is cultural exchange then doing so during an economic downturn is not wise.
“If they are in the early stages of a business development a trip could be held off,” he said. “If they are close to fruition on a substantial return then that would make sense.”
As for the initial raises approved by the city council, Floyd said the original increase was “exorbitant.” However, he commended the council for listening to constituents and retaking a vote to lower the salary increases.
Both candidates also promise to work toward diversifying the local economy.
 Parlett suggested Hinesville make a stronger effort to bring small business “to the table,” when deliberating economic growth issues. She said the local small business sector was not represented during the county planning workshop held in June.
In addition, Floyd and Parlett said communication between the city and residents seems to be an issue.
“I hear a lot of people say they don’t know what’s going on,” Parlett said. She explained older residents have told her they are not familiar with the Internet and still prefer to be reached through more traditional means, such as print media.
Floyd said he plans to have an open-door policy and pledges to make himself accessible to District 2 residents.
“I have a listed phone number and am always willing to discuss issues facing the council,” he said. “I will not please everyone with every vote, but I will always vote my conscience.”
Hinesville will hold a swearing in ceremony for the winning candidate at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 4, in the municipal courtroom on the ground floor of the Hinesville Police Department off MLK Drive.

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