Cobb EMC Watch, a group headed by Tom Barksdale, will host a candidate’s forum at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Mountain View community Center, 3400 Sandy Plains Road in Marietta.
All of the candidates, including the incumbents, for the four seats up for election this week are invited to the forum, which Barksdale will moderate. Each candidate will be allowed to give a brief presentation, and a question-and-answer session will follow. Most of the candidates have indicated they will attend the forum, Barksdale said.
On Wednesday, the Cobb EMC Owners Association, which was founded by the plaintiffs who brought suit against the electric cooperative in 2007, will host a forum featuring its endorsed candidates for three of the seats to be elected on Saturday. That event is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Butch Thompson’s office, 2131 Moon Station Drive in Kennesaw.
On Saturday, members of the nonprofit electric utility will vote for four of the 10 seats on the board of directors. Although directors represent a geographical area of the utility, all members vote for all 10 seats.
The election will be at Piedmont Church, 570 Piedmont Road in Marietta, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 12. A meeting featuring the candidates will begin at 10 a.m., but members do not have to attend the meeting to vote, and –– unlike at the special members’ meeting in September –– members can vote before the meeting, if they wish.
Also, efforts are being made to improve traffic flow in and out of the church.
The four seats to be elected on Saturday are for Areas 1, 6, 7 and 10. Candidates must win a majority of the vote to win. If no candidate gets the required 50 percent plus one vote in an area, a runoff election will be held Dec. 3 at Piedmont Church between the top two vote-getters for that area.
The directors elected this year will serve until the annual meeting in September 2014.
Here’s a look at the candidate field. To read the candidate’s responses to questions from the Journal, go to mdjonline.com and click on the “Cobb EMC” tab. Members should also receive information in the mail about all the candidates from Election Services Corp., the independent firm overseeing the elections.
For Area One, trucking association executive Edward Crowell has won the endorsement of the CEOA. Barbecue restaurateur Johnny Woodward is also a candidate. Incumbent Don Barnett is not seeking re-election.
For Area Six, management consultant David Tennant has won the endorsement of the CEOA. Other candidates are lawyer Patrick G. Longhi and retirees Stewart Manley and William C. Sharp Jr. Incumbent Al Fortney is not seeking re-election.
There are seven candidates seeking to represent Area Seven. Charles M. Swanson, who owns Sportsprint, has been endorsed by the CEOA. Other candidates are Karen Thornburgh, who works in the health care industry; Paul Phillips, a certified public accountant; Charles Spann, a retired Cobb police officer; Dr. Larry Baker, a certified speaking professional; William Cominos, a retired electric-industry worker and firefighter; and incumbent RJ Patel, a business owner.
In Area 10, which is the Pataula district in south Georgia, Cheryl Meadows has the endorsement of the CEOA. She is challenging incumbent Henry Balkcom III. Meadows cannot attend Saturday due to a previous engagement that cannot be altered.
The other six director seats will be decided in two elections next year. On Feb. 18, members will elect directors for Areas 2, 3 and 9. Those directors will serve until the annual meeting in September 2015. Finally, on May 12, members will elect directors for Areas 4, 5 and 8, and those directors will serve until the annual meeting in September 2016.