DUNWOODY, Ga. — The discussion was different, but the outcome remained the same — Dunwoody’s next mayor must win by a majority, rather than a plurality vote.
The Dunwoody Charter Commission on Oct. 19 revisited a suggested amendment proposed by Chairman Robert Wittenstein that would change the percent of the votes needed to win the city’s mayoral race from a majority of 50 percent plus one vote, to a plurality of 45 percent. The commission had considered the measure at a previous meeting, but it failed by a vote of 2-1, with one member, Wayne Radloff, abstaining. Commissioners Amy Swygert and Wittenstein voted for the change. Ann Hicks voted against the measure.
The measure failed because it did not receive a majority from the panel, which had four voting members present at the time.
The commission had passed at an earlier meeting a measure that would allow council members to win their seats by garnering a plurality of votes in an election. Wittenstein said, in light of that passage, he felt it necessary to revisit the proposed change to the charter to even the playing field when it came to election standards.
“I feel like, because we’ve had discussions about this since the meeting, we may want to look at this again,” Wittenstein said. “(To have the mayor’s race decided by a majority vote) wouldn’t be my preference, but it wouldn’t be terrible either.”
Rather than abstaining from the vote as he did previously, Radloff voted against the motion, along with Hicks. Wittenstein and Swygert voted for the proposed change.
In other action at the meeting, the commission voted unanimously to recommend a changes to the charter regarding the submission of the operating budget to the first day of the 10th month of the fiscal year, and passage of the budget on or before the 12th month of the fiscal year. The charter now calls for the budget to be submitted for review on the ninth month of the fiscal year and approved by the 11th month of the fiscal year.
The recommended changes to the charter must be approved in the Georgia General Assembly to set up a voter referendum. Residents would then have a final say on all changes.
Wittenstein said he would prepare a report on all the suggested charter changes to be reviewed at the commission’s next meeting, scheduled for Nov. 2.