Moreland voters approve four-year terms for mayor, councilBy W. WINSTON SKINNER
A total of 49 of 74 voters in Moreland approved a referendum that will double the length of terms for the mayor and council.
Moreland is the last municipality in Coweta County to approve the longer terms. The referendum was on ballots for voters at the Moreland precinct who live within the town limits.
The council had been discussing the need to move to four-year terms for a couple of months when a vote was taken in February. Councilman Allyn Bell, who had taken office in January, voted against the proposal to increase the length of the terms.
With the current arrangement, because of staggered terms, Moreland was the only town having elections every year. Coweta County Election Superintendent Jane Scoggins currently handles the elections for the town, but the town was informed several years ago that they needed to adjust their term lengths.
The county will not be able to hold Moreland’s election this year because, during a presidential election year, the qualifying deadlines for municipal elections in Georgia are not early enough to make the November ballot. Scoggins said towns were informed by the state of that fact in 2004 or 2005, and all of Coweta’s other municipalities long ago arranged their elections so that they do not have elections on presidential ballot years.
If Moreland had to hold its own election, the council would have had to designate a place for the vote, get their own ballots printed, arrange for poll staff and count and report the votes. Someone with the city – which hires only one part-time employee and contract maintenance workers – would have to complete certification to hold the election.
The council held a called meeting Feb. 29 and unanimously voted to ask State Rep. Billy Horne to submit local legislation. That process led to the ballot measure that residents of the town approved Tuesday.