Since Lary’s term was not set to expire until the end of 2023, the city’s charter requires a special election to fill the remainder of his term. If the vacancy lasted less than a year, the council could appoint a replacement.
A few residents told the council they wanted more time before holding a special election, so potential candidates would have time to think about it and residents would have time to register to vote and learn about those running to become Lary’s successor.
“You all will understand why citizens are unwilling to make a hasty selection given our most recent experience with the former mayor,” Andrew Wells wrote the council. “Jason Lary was a familiar face to many prior to taking the office of mayor.”
Until a new mayor is elected, the mayor’s responsibilities will be handled by the mayor pro tem. Those duties include acting as the figurehead of the city and voting in the event of a tie — something rare for a five-member council. The mayor also gets designated time to speak during council meetings, gets to appoint members to committees and have some supervisory responsibilities.
The council has to choose an election date, set a qualifying period for candidates — which must end 25 days before the election date — and set a fee amount for candidates to apply. The council will then contact the DeKalb County elections director to formally announce the election date and qualifying information.