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Milton City Council seat remains up in the air

Tucker, Verhoff appear headed for Nov. 30 runoff

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MILTON, Ga. — Milton has new representation on the City Council, but one seat remains undecided.

Parks and Recreation Advisory Board member Jami Tucker and small business owner Andrea Verhoff are heading to a runoff. Neither candidate secured more than 50% of the vote in a bid for the District 1/Post 1 Milton City Council seat in the Nov. 2 election. The runoff will be Nov. 30.

The two candidates were also challenged by attorney Adam D’Anella to replace Councilman Peyton Jamison who is taking over as mayor. According to the unofficial results from Fulton County, Tucker received 45.66% of the vote, Verhoff garnered 31.71% and D’Anella received 22.63%.

A U.S. Navy veteran, Tucker is running on a platform of protecting Milton from overdevelopment, prioritizing public safety, championing parks and recreation, and keeping taxes low. Following the election, Tucker said she was humbled to have won the majority of votes.

“I look forward to continuing in the Milton tradition of running a clean campaign that promotes unity in our community,” Tucker said. “I want to personally thank each and every citizen, friend and neighbor who has supported my candidacy. … God bless everyone, and I look forward to serving on your behalf.”

Candidates share love of Milton, vision for future at forum

Verhoff lists land use, parks and recreation, special events, growing small business and keeping taxes low as the top issues in her campaign. She said that as a decade-long resident of Milton, voters have an obvious choice to vote for someone who will represent the history, character and values of the city.

“My opponent, who just moved to Milton, has numerous ties to special interest groups,” Verhoff said. “I have no other agenda than the love of Milton. I believe the choice is clear and voters will do the right thing.”

Neither of the other two seats up for election was contested. Come January, Juliette Johnson will replace Laura Bentley in the District 2/Post 1 seat, and Jan Charles Jacobus will replace Joe Longoria in the District 3/Post 1 seat. Longoria has held the seat since 2010 but was ineligible to run due to term limits.

Mayor Joe Lockwood, who has held the gavel since the city incorporated in 2006, will also step down due to term limits after serving his third, four-year term.

This may be the last Milton election organized through Fulton County. For months now, a group of residents have been pushing the mayor and City Council to look into the feasibility of the city running its own elections starting in 2022.

Milton residents continue push to ‘fire’ Fulton County from running city’s elections

Under this year’s agreement with Fulton County, Milton will pay $84,000 for the election, and a runoff will cost the city another $70,000. Fulton County is no longer reimbursing cities for ballots that are not cast by eligible voters.

During an Oct. 18 City Council meeting, Councilman Rick Mohrig requested that an item be added to the Nov. 8 council work session so they can discuss formalizing a plan for Milton to conduct its own elections moving forward. It is currently unclear whether it is a viable move.

Voters were also asked whether to renew the .75-cent Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales, or TSPLOST, and whether to continue the one-cent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for education for a sixth, five-year term. Both measures passed by wide margins.

Voters approve 1 percent sales tax for Fulton County Schools

Milton is expected to receive $36 million through the transportation sales tax.

Reach Chamian Cruz at 770-847-8079. Follow her on Twitter @xchamian.

(4) comments

ANH in Milton

As a Milton homeowner of over a decade, I pay attention to local issues and do my own research. In the City Council race between D'Anella, Tucker, and Verhoff, all 3 candidates initially seemed like reasonable options. But like other commenters have said, when I researched further I found information that, if accurate, showed me this candidate definitely would not be a good steward for our community: I found evidence of vulgar, insulting public media posts apparently made under a similar name, financial support of an individual being prosecuted for assaulting a police officer in the violent attack on our Capitol, and a lawsuit this year against Fulton County Schools. But here's the worst part: I really hoped this candidate would have responded to community members who asked about this information, but multiple times when asked about it on an official campaign page on social media, this candidate instead quickly deleted the questions and never provided answers. Ironically, this candidate talks about transparency - a lot - but hides valid, relevant questions rather than address them. How can Milton residents trust a person to be responsive and transparent in office if that person won't be respectful, responsive, and transparent as a candidate?? As far as I'm concerned, we can't. Please, neighbors: ask your questions! We deserve answers from anyone seeking our support.

longtimeMiltonian

Ms. Tucker is a newcomer from California with a litigious past. I believe her social media accounts have been scrubbed, but she has made some very offensive and inflammatory comments about our schools, city and those whom would disagree with her. It would be nice to have verification of her resume claims as they differ from those posted when she ran for city council in California.

Milton Parent of Five Boys

As a proud veteran, I find it questionable that Ms. Tucker employed a local insurrectionist, who is awaiting charges of assaulting a federal officer.

Concerned Voter

Ms. Tucker has only lived in Milton for about 18 months and is currently suing the Fulton County School Board. She previously sued Wells Fargo Bank when they foreclosed on her mortgage in California. There are several other lawsuits in her history including a plastic surgeon. The public should be aware of her very litigious and fiscally irresponsible past.

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