Voters oust longtime Loganville council members

LOGANVILLE -- Voters in Loganville ousted two longtime city council members Tuesday and gave decisive thumbs up to Sunday alcohol sales, according to unofficial voting results.

Sitting one-term council member Dan Curry notched the highest vote total (543), followed by former Loganville mayor and city council member Mike Jones (452) and political newcomer Lee "Skip" Baliles (434). Nine-term council member Wendell Geiger and Jerry Price (two terms) were not re-elected.

Voters approved Sunday alcohol sales by the drink (565-314) and package beer and wine sales (560-320). All results are unofficial until certified. Council members serve four-year terms. All seats are at-large.

Curry, a retired church administrator, credited an old-fashioned, knock-on-doors campaign with giving him an edge, along with "productive forums" that connected with voters. Curry said he plans to encourage citizen involvement at council meeting, and possibly hosting educational seminars at HOA clubhouses in the area, including on the Gwinnett side of town.

"One of my goals from the get-go was to try to engage the Gwinnett people," Curry said.

During his campaign, Jones, an attorney, pointed out that he was the only non-retired, calling it an attribute. He pushes for smart growth that retains the city's small-town values.

"I appreciate all the confidence all the citizens have placed in me," Jones said Tuesday night. "I'll do my best not to let them down."

Baliles, a retired retail manager, said a general feeling among voters that term limits are a political necessity worked in his favor.

"In particular, I was one who advocated change," Baliles said. "The citizens of Loganville are looking for change."

Baliles said he hopes to work with fellow council members, the mayor and city manager to attract new business like restaurants and subsequently "lower the tax burden we all share."

"I hope alcohol by the drink will open up some new avenues haven't had before," Baliles said. "The issue is that many restaurants need that revenue to be successful."