Barrow election for council, education tax today

WINDER - Polls will be open until 7 p.m. today for two local elections.

Voters in Barrow County will have the opportunity to decide whether to continue a penny sales tax that funds capital improvements in the school district, while Auburn voters will elect a new council member.

In early voting, 178 people cast their ballots for the education issue, while 18 already voted for their representative in Auburn.

The county school system is asking for the sales tax renewal to fund the expansion of five schools, renovations at others and creation of a performing arts facility, among other projects. One of the biggest projects the district will take on if the tax passes will be renovations to Winder-Barrow High School.

Auburn residents Donna Scouten and Len Cooper are running against each other for an open seat on the City Council.

Scouten, who ran for the first time in November, said she would like to control the city's growth and work to increase commercial sewer. Cooper, a former mayor and councilman, said he has a history of representing the majority voice.

If You Vote

•What: Special elections in Auburn, Barrow County

•When: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today

•Where: Auburn City Hall: 1369 4th Ave.; various locations throughout Barrow County; to find out where to vote, call 770-307-3110.

The Candidates

n Name: Len Cooper

•Age: 65

•Education: Associate degree from Atlanta School of Electronics, took various management courses.

•Occupation: Retired director of manufacturing from GEC Marconi Avionics

•Political experience: Served six-and-a-half months as mayor of Auburn, 27 months on council.

•Family: Wife, Zippy, five children, three grandchildren

•Name: Donna Scouten

•Age: 47

•Education: Attended two years of college at West Carolina University

•Occupation: Lead

trainer at Estleez mortgage academy

•Political experience: Ran for council in November 2005, has served a year on the planning and zoning board and board of appeals.

•Family: Husband, Bert, two children, three grandchildren