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Taylor to refund ex-candidate’s qualifying fees

Cheryl Calhoun, seen here qualifying for the special election for Ward II, is getting a refund of her qualifying fee.

Cheryl Calhoun, seen here qualifying for the special election for Ward II, is getting a refund of her qualifying fee.

ALBANY, Ga. — Albany City Manager James Taylor said Wednesday that he will use his office’s contingency fund to refund the $450 qualifying fee paid by former Ward II City Commission candidate Cheryl Calhoun.

The $450 was paid by Calhoun when she was allowed to qualify for the seat before it was determined that she actually lived in Ward I.

Taylor, who has the authority to spend up to $40,000 without the commission’s approval under the city’s charter, said he was authorizing the check to be cut Wednesday and would be sending it, along with a letter, to Calhoun.

City Commissioner Jon Howard, the person Calhoun would be running against had the incident not occurred the way it did, asked Mayor Willie Adams Tuesday to put the topic of refunding the money on the agenda of a future meeting for discussion.

Also Tuesday, City Attorney Nathan Davis provided commissioners with a memo advocating for the body to refund the money despite the fact that state law explicitly bars refunds after the qualifying period ends.

“It recently became necessary for the Election Board to disqualify Ms. Calhoun as a candidate in Ward II. At the time she qualified, it was construed by the Election Board that she resided in Ward II. That turned out to be incorrect. The disqualification took place after the qualifying period had closed. The general rule is that after the close of the qualifying period, the qualifying fee shall not be returned to the candidate for any reason … O.C.G.A. § 21-2-134(e),” Davis wrote.

“This statute provides protection against an individual’s actions that give rise to disqualification. We feel the special circumstances in this matter do not meet that test and instead warrant a refund of the filing fee.”

Comments

whattheheck 2 years, 5 months ago

As well he should. Thanks, Jim, for doing the right thing without having to fight for it.

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MRKIA 2 years, 5 months ago

FINALLY SOMEONE STEPS UP AND DOES THE RIGHT THING, RULES AND REGULATIONS ASIDE. THANK YOU MR. TAYLOR FOR NOT LETTING THIS DRAG ON.

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TrixibelleBento 2 years, 5 months ago

This was a great decision. Do the right thing and move on. There's no need to put this before the City Commission. The City Manager runs the City day to day and shouldn't have to take this issue to the table.

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wilson 2 years, 5 months ago

I agree the fee should be refunded but I don't think the City Manager deserves much credit for cutting a check on the taxpayers account. If he'd used his own money I'd be impressed. The focus should be on the election board's failure to do a simple task correctly.

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 5 months ago

Thank you, Mr. Taylor. You are stepping up and doing the right thing. If it were up to the commission to decide they would probably just table the idea until infinity. The city commission is a joke. It is time we get some strong leaders in there to make some good decisions for the city once and for all. I sure hope this doesn't discourage Mrs. Calhoun from running again. I think she would make a fine commissioner.

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bubbavet 2 years, 5 months ago

ISN'T IT AMAZING WHAT CAN BE DONE WITH COMMON SENSE.

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