Issues, races to be decided Tuesday

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Throughout Gwinnett, voters have opportunities to cast their ballots, not only choosing their representatives but sounding off on some major issues.

Tuesday's elections will decide a dozen council seats and, in Buford, a school board member.

In the political hotbed of Snellville, two former councilmembers are vying to become the next mayor, while Lilburn's mayor faces a major challenge to keep her post. In Suwanee, where the past two mayors have become chamber officials, residents will choose a new leader.

And Philip Beard, who is unofficially Gwinnett's longest serving "mayor" as chair of the Buford City Commission, is facing a re-election battle.

In Barrow's county seat, Mayor Chip Thompson is challenged in his battle for a second term.

In all of the Gwinnett cities, except Buford, voters have a say in whether package sales of beer and wine will be allowed on Sundays.

Voters in unincorporated Gwinnett will not have that matter on their ballots, but across the county people can decide whether a 1 percent sales tax to fund educational facilities and technology will be extended for five years.

And voters in Gwinnett's southwest Gwinnett corner can decide if they want to be a part of a city.

In the area north of Norcross and west of Duluth, voters will consider a limited new government, creating Gwinnett's 16th city, Peachtree Corners.

Several hundred people just south of Norcross's city limits will vote on whether to join that town.

Barrow's voters will not only weigh the Sunday sales issue, but they will also decide if the troubled county will be governed by a county manager form of government, weakening the role of the commission chairman.

In this issue, readers can find biographies of every opposed candidate, as well as a look at the referenda.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday throughout Gwinnett for the education sales tax issue and Peachtree Corners question. City residents must also go to their town polling place to cast ballots in those elections.