Also during Monday’s called meeting, Forsyth County resident Brant Meadows questioned the Cumming City Council’s authority to vote on the water contract.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, Meadows accused the mayor and council of not being a “legitimate body.”
“My concerns about the decision making relative to water go to the legitimacy of the body before us here, and that would be the city council and mayor, and their improper election, failure to a hold an election,” Meadows said.
The city did not hold a municipal election in November because none of the incumbents drew opposition.
It was the second consecutive election cycle that there were no contested races for city office in Cumming. The same situation unfolded in 2007.
The city still held an election last November, but it was for a referendum on the extension of the 1-cent sales tax, which was a countywide vote.
“My concern is that you can’t make a decision on water if you’re an illegitimate body and you haven’t been properly elected,” said Meadows, a former member of Forsyth County’s planning board.
He also noted the city’s “rules” state that elected officials must be 21.
“I don’t believe a one of you is 21 years old, and it doesn’t say ‘more than’ or ‘have attained,’ it says that you have to be exactly 21 years old,” he said.
Meadows asked mayor and council to “review with the state attorney general whether or not this body has been legitimately elected.”
“We certainly will,” said Mayor H. Ford Gravitt.
Uncontested races are nothing new for Cumming, which has experienced long-term continuous leadership for many years.
The same six men — Gravitt as mayor and councilmen Quincy Holton, Lewis Ledbetter, Ralph Perry, John D. Pugh and Rupert Sexton — have held their posts since 1993, with some having served since the 1960s. Gravitt has been mayor since 1970.
The next city election is scheduled for 2013, thanks to a switch to staggered terms.
Previously, all positions were for four years. Effective with the 2011 election cycle, however, the mayor and council Posts 1 and 2 were two-year-terms.
Council Post 1, held by Sexton, and Post 2, by Holton, will come up for election again in 2013 and every four years thereafter.
Posts 3, 4 and 5 — held by Ledbetter, Perry and Pugh — are for four years.