City elections, penny tax vote drawing near



LAWRENCEVILLE -- Want a say in whether Gwinnett can continue to charge a sales tax to pay for school construction or cast a vote for a local councilman? Make sure you are registered.

Today is the last day to file paperwork to register to vote in the upcoming Nov. 8 elections.

Ballots will be cast in all of Gwinnett's cities and even in one community hoping to form a city. Plus, a county-wide special election is scheduled to decide if a penny sales tax devoted to education will enter its fourth cycle.

The sales tax, which is expected to raise $876 million in five years, would fund five new schools, a bus facility, additions and renovations at nine schools and significant technology upgrades to Gwinnett's classrooms.

Not to be confused with another 1 percent sales tax that has funded road projects, libraries, parks, fire stations and police precincts, the education sales tax has funded much of the school construction of the past 15 years. This time, about half of the dollars would be devoted to technology, officials said.

In nearly all of the local cities -- all but Buford and Rest Haven -- a provision that would allow Sunday sales of beer and wine in grocery stores will be before voters.

On Nov. 8, mayors will be chosen in Snellville, Lilburn and Suwanee. And 11 councilmen will be decided; plus a city commissioner and school board member in Buford.

In the northwestern corner of Gwinnett, more than 30,000 residents of the Peachtree Corners community will vote on whether a new municipal government will be formed.

Leaders have proposed a city governing three services -- planning and zoning, code enforcement and solid waste -- with a maximum tax levy of 1 mil.

Gwinnett's Voter Registration and Elections Office is responsible for voter registration for county and city elections. Information is available at www.gwinnettcounty.com.