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Cumming Mayor Gravitt to seek re-election

To be first contested election since 2003

POSTED: April 18, 2017 5:59 p.m.
FCN file photo/

Gravitt told the Forsyth County News Tuesday afternoon he is planning to seek re-election for his 15th term as mayor this fall. Gravitt said he was encouraged to run after receiving a clean bill of health and support from the community.

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CUMMING – Cumming Mayor H. Ford Gravitt has held his position current position since 1971, and now he is seeking four more years.

Gravitt told the Forsyth County News Tuesday afternoon he is planning to seek re-election for his 15th term as mayor this fall. Gravitt said he was encouraged to run after receiving a clean bill of health and support from the community.

“I’ve had a lot of friends, actually over 200 friends and supporters, that have called me, written me, petitioned me, if health permitted, that they wanted me to run,” Gravitt said. “By virtue of all of the outpouring of supporters with my longevity in public service and stability in city government over the years, they wanted me to run again.”

First elected as mayor of the only municipality in 1970, Gravitt previously was elected to the Cumming City Council in 1966 and served under Mayors Marcus Mashburn Sr. and George Ingram. He worked 44 years in the automotive industry before retiring in 1998.

Gravitt said there are many projects he wants to see through, including new offerings from the Cumming Fairgrounds, additional water and sewer lines, negotiating the next SPLOST with Forsyth County and using SPLOST funds for a new city court facility.

Gravitt detailed several major projects the city has undertaken in his term including: opening the Georgia Army National Guard Armory; keeping the Department of Driver’s Services in the city; having no city debt or property taxes; building two new city hall buildings and turning the former into the Cumming Police Department; and increasing educational offerings with the University of North Georgia’s Cumming Campus and Mike Cottrell College of Business, which hold classes at City Hall, and the forthcoming the Alliance Academy for Innovation of Cumming-Forsyth County.

“We’ve done a lot over the 50 years; we’ve come from being very pioneer to having a $32 million budget compared to a $60,000 a year budget when I went into office, with no property taxes,” he said. “There’s still a lot to be done; we’ll never get it done, but there is a lot to do.”

For the first time since 2003, there will be an election with two candidates for mayor as city resident Troy Brumbalow announced his candidacy in January.

Brumbalow said Tuesday he is looking forward to “working hard to residents of the city of Cumming and moving the city forward.”
Gravitt said it is Brumbalow’s right to run but said issues facing the city require experience.

“That’s their right to challenge,” Gravitt said. “This is not a job we need some to be trained for. I’m trained for it. I know what’s coming, what to look for. I’m experienced; I’ve been a public servant.”

Registration for the mayoral seat – and Posts 1 and 2 of the Cumming City Council, held by Chuck Welch and Quincy Holton, respectively – will be Aug. 21-23. The election will be held in November.

Qualifying fees and registration dates for the race and were approved at the Cumming City Council’s January meeting. The fee for mayor is $380, and for Council Posts 1 and 2 is $180.

According to the city’s code, a candidate must be older than 21 and have lived in the city for more than a year before the election and be a qualified voter in the city.

If an office is contested, the top vote-getter will be declared winner – no runoff is held for close races, as is the case in some other municipalities.


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mosesdds: April 19, 2017 3:42 p.m.

Kathleen Sturgeon
The City of Cumming has made strides in the past few years on becoming more transparent.

The city’s website has new sections that highlight city news, such as articles and photo galleries from city events. Another section on the website is now home to past meeting videos from the council and planning and zoning board. Monthly newsletters and a designated open records request officer have also improved the city’s transparency efforts.

But compared to other local communities, those efforts fall short. The city doesn’t use social media and its website barely has any information in comparison to Forsyth County, Alpharetta or Milton. The meeting videos often are not uploaded until weeks after action has been taken. The most recent video currently online is from January, meaning February and March aren’t uploaded yet.

Additionally, meeting agendas are emailed out a few days prior, but are put online only the day of the meeting and then taken down the next day.

Furthermore, the elected officials do not have city email addresses. To try and set up an interview with the mayor, one must call and make an in person appointment rather than talk over the phone or through email.

Though recent efforts are commended, the city has a long way to go to make it to current standards of transparency.

anthar: April 20, 2017 9:51 a.m.

This Dinosaur needs to be replaced. Please do not re-elect him.

newzhound20: April 20, 2017 3:56 p.m.

No disrespect intended, but we need "new" ideas, actions and a forward looking admin. Think about it.

mosesdds: April 20, 2017 4:39 p.m.


Thursday, April 20, 2017
HAC sewer

The transfer of The Habersham Sewer sewer to the city of Cumming by way of a condemnation action is now in progress.

Final details will be resolved in the condemnation proceedings.

infidel11: April 26, 2017 8:18 a.m.

He has to run. His girlfriend needs the insurance!!!

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