A number of voters turned out by Wednesday afternoon to the Columbia County Board of Elections for advance voting in Grovetown's general and special election.
The number? Two.
"That was a very low number," said Deborah Marshall, the executive director of the Columbia County Board of Elections. "I expected more."
Marshall said before advance voting began, she expected roughly 50 people to cast their ballots throughout the week in the election to fill two expiring Grovetown City Council terms.
In Tuesday's election, Grovetown residents will choose among three candidates to fill the expiring Grovetown City Council terms of Tony Arnold and Bruce Stoddard.
Arnold, who was elected in late 2003 to fill the 26 months remaining on a resigned member's term, said he will not be running for a second term to pursue other interests. But Arnold does not plan to disappear from public service.
"I still will do volunteer work for the city and continue to serve the citizens in that respect," Arnold said. "I can't get completely away."
As the incumbent, Stoddard, 53, is completing his first four-year term on the council and said he looks forward to serving a second term if elected.
Grovetown newcomer Fred Turner, 48, is the pastor of City of Life Ministries Inc. and says that he believes he can bring new ideas to the council.
"I think I'll bring a cohesiveness and hard work," Turner said. "I can bring something fresh to the council."
Former council member George James, who resigned from his second term on the council in late 2003 to run for the Columbia County District 4 commission seat, has decided to run for his former council seat.
He said he hopes to help Grovetown prepare for future growth and anticipated problems concerning the talk by county commissioners of consolidation.
Grovetown Mayor Dennis Trudeau said he would be happy to see any two of the three candidates elected to the council.
"They are all good candidates," Trudeau said.
James, if elected, could hit the ground running, Trudeau said, adding that Stoddard also could do the same, with the city council well aware of his potential after serving with him for the past four years.
With the city's population boom in the past few years, infrastructure, especially rehabilitation and expansion of the city's water and sewer system, is an ongoing issue, Trudeau said.
He said he's met, but doesn't know much about, Turner. But a new view of the city's problems could be a definite asset, he said.
"It's a win-win situation for us," Trudeau said.
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