Five candidates, including two current city commissioners and one former commissioner, are seeking election for the two seats. Two first-time candidates are also seeking the posts.
Commissioners Bobby Alexander, Ray Merritt, former Commissioner Forrest McCombs Sr. and candidates Larry Tolbert and Linda Wilkes are vying for the two seats.
City Clerk Patti Rowell said turnout in the past has usually been light for the city elections. However, more absentee ballots have been used this time, which may indicate more interest in the vote.
The election will be managed by the Polk Registrar’s Office. The city contracts with the county to operate the elections.
City voters can cast votes for two of the five candidates but may also vote for just one of the five.
The city election is operated on a plurality system, meaning those with the highest number of votes are elected. Candidates do not run against each other but simply run for a seat. In this case, the two candidates receiving the most votes will be elected.
Both Alexander and Merritt have stressed their experience on the commission with Alexander serving over 30 years and Merritt serving 12 years. Both have held the position of chairman.
Alexander is retired but continues to work part-time with Litesey Funeral Home.
Merritt is a retired state arson inspector but also works part-time for Mundy and Gammage Law Firm.
McCombs said that he gained valuable experience in his previous term on the panel and wants to help Cedartown grow. McCombs is employed at GEO Chemicals.
Tolbert said he wants to see economic growth for the area and hopes to build bridges between the city’s ethnic and minority groups. Tolbert is employed at Cingular.
Wilkes said she would also like to see the city grow but would also like to see the local governing bodies work together better.
Wilkes is employed with the Polk County School District.
City elections are held every other year and the three other seats on the commission will be up for election in 2005.