Political notebook: Lovelady's son drops out of council race

At least for now, Norcross politics won't be a family affair for Michael and Gary Lovelady.

Gary Lovelady, the 22-year-old son of former councilman and current mayoral candidate Michael Lovelady, has dropped out of the city council race.

A field operations manager for an engineering firm, the younger Lovelady said recent deals at work will mean he will have to travel more.

"I felt it was better for the city to drop out of the race," he said. "There's a guy who used to be one of my opponents, I think he could do a better job than I would considering the work circumstances."

Lovelady endorsed former councilman Craig Newton in the council race. Newton is challenging incumbent Terry Bowie.

"I agree with this decision as a parent," Michael Lovelady said. "I was concerned he was taking on a lot of responsibility at one time."

The two never campaigned together, but the younger man said he would have enjoyed serving alongside his father.

"Me and my dad are a lot alike in ways, but there is a lot differences," he said with a laugh. "We would have butted heads a lot. ... If my schedule clears up, I would definitely feel glad to represent the citizens of Norcross, if the citizens would allow me."

The western Gwinnett city will still have one family pair on the ballot, as the son of incumbent Mayor Lillian Webb is seeking a council post. Webb is being challenged by Michael Lovelady and Bucky Johnson. John Webb is taking on incumbent Charlie Riehm and former councilman Josh Bare in the Nov. 6 election.

Snellville stuff

The resignation of Snellville Planning Director Jessica Roth this week brings the number of high-level staffers to four to leave the city this year.

The first was the high-profile exit of Jeff Timler as city manager, who publicly fought with the city council and accused members of micromanaging.

Last month, Alison Nalley Starnes left her job as the city's economic development manager to join the Chamber of Commerce.

Also last month, city attorney Thomas Mitchell resigned. He has said he would continue to advise the city until January, so members elected in November could have a say in his replacement.

Mitchell said partners in his law firm have decided his time should be redistributed for other work, and council meetings are hard with young children, he added.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post. Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.