Originally created 09/16/97

Six qualify for four Bylthe council seats



It will be a whole new campaign for the local government of Blythe. Well, at least the names will be different.

Qualifying ended Friday for Blythe's first city council elections, with three incumbents and three others in the race for the four available seats.

Earlier this year, the Georgia General Assembly approved a bill changing Blythe from a town to a city and changing the title of its local policy makers from aldermen to councilmen.

Even though the names will change, Blythe Mayor Tommy Pennington doesn't expect to see many changes following the fall elections Nov. 4.

"We just updated the charter, which we had not done since 1920," said Mr. Pennington, who is unopposed in his bid for a second term. "I don't think we'll see too many changes."

Three current aldermen have qualified for the campaign. They are Homer Myers, James Gray and Paul Rutland.

The three other qualifiers are Walter Cook, a retired Colonial Baking Co. employee; Daisy Price, a teacher's aide; and James Gray, who is retired. All four seats are citywide, so the top four vote-getters will be elected.

The new council members will serve four-year terms. In the next election in 2001, two council members will serve two-year terms to stagger the terms of the elected government.

The staggered terms will ensure that there will be at least two experienced policy makers in office after each election, Mr. Pennington said.

"That way, you'll always have someone in there who knows what's going on," he said.