A Good Night for Roswell Incumbents

Kent Igleheart scratched out a close win to retain his City Council seat, joining re-elected incumbents Jerry Orlans and Nancy Diamond.

Post 4 Roswell council incumbent Kent Igleheart held a slim lead over Harvey Smith.
Post 4 Roswell council incumbent Kent Igleheart held a slim lead over Harvey Smith.
The makeup of the Roswell City Council and Mayor's office appears to be unchanged. 

The three City Council incumbents up for re-election all faced opposition in Tuesday's balloting, while Mayor Jere Wood was unopposed for a fifth term.

Post 6 council member Nancy Diamond earned another term by receiving more than 55 percent of the vote. 

Post 4 incumbent Kent Igleheart looks to have narrowly won re-election in a tight race against former Roswell Planning Commission co-chairman Harvey Smith. 

With all 21 precincts reporting, Igleheart had 2,728 votes, or 52.47 percent, according to results posted on the City of Roswell website and tabulated by Fulton Registration and Elections. 

Smith had 2,467 votes, or 47.45 percent of the vote, reflecting a close battle all evening long. 

Jerry Orlans, seeking another term in Post 5, defeated Eric Schumacher by a slightly wider margin. 

Orlans, the longest-serving council member and first elected in 1992, received 2,850 votes, or 54.37 percent, to 2,385 votes for Schumacher, or 45.50 percent.

Diamond received 2,899 votes to 2,358 for East Roswell civic activist Kendra Myers Cox. 

Wood got 4,402 votes, and there were 391 write-in votes for mayor.

The results are unofficial and must be certified by Fulton County elections officials. 

The newly re-elected mayor and council members will begin their new terms in January. 

Morris Devereaux November 06, 2013 at 07:55 AM
I'm curious to see how you feel that close races with all three incumbents was a "good night". I don't really see it as a ringing endorsement when almost half the voters tell the incumbents that their performance is so bad they want them out. Being an incumbent is worth about 5% of the vote all by itself. Using that as a factor, all three of these incumbents should've been voted out. The absurd idea that we need to spend $17M to build small water capacity while still buying the majority of our water from Fulton County is just plain idiotic. The sole reason that the Mayor and Council have given is that it's tough to get into the water business if you aren't already there. Not a good reason to spend MY tax dollars. There's a reason larger government bodies exist and projects like water are the reason. No, I don't want Fulton County doing our zoning, but they do a pretty fair job with water at a much lower cost than the City of Roswell. And while we're talking about zoning, let's remember all the small homes, cluster homes and road re-routing the current council wants to do to the citizens on Grimes Bridge. They're doing their level best to turn Grimes Bridge Road into another Holcomb Bridge. More, denser housing and routing Oxbow traffic through that residential area. If you don't live there, remember, YOUR area may be next. No, I don't see this as a "good night" at all. I see it as a "barely passing" grade on a really poor group of council members.
Claire Bartlett November 06, 2013 at 09:19 AM
I hope this election sends a measage to all of city council that the people are not pleased with their performance. Roswell needs to stop the cronyism shenanigans and this UDC mess. I hope our elected leadership shapes up or Roswell will lose its charm and then its residents. Where will Roswell be then? Over time, it will go by way of Detroit...
Mary November 06, 2013 at 10:53 AM
While it may not be a ringing endorsement when only a little more than half the voters voted for the incumbents, I don't believe that this election sent a message to Mayor and Council that the people are not pleased with their performance. In a City of about 90,000 people, only about 5,000 voted. If the populace were as displeased as you say, more residents would have turned out to vote. The low turnout would indicate to me that most residents are pleased with our leadership and did not feel threatened by the challengers. There were no surprises yesterday, and as expected, the incumbents were voted back into office because the majority of Roswell's citizens believed they were the best choices for City Council. Now that the election is over, I am looking forward to less name calling and fewer angry online rants. I'd like to see improved attendance at Council meetings, and more citizen involvement in local issues, so we can work together with Mayor and Council to make Roswell the best that she can be. Cooperation and mutual respect will get the job done better and faster than political mud-slinging. We need only look at Washington to see where that leads. The time has come for us to shake hands, roll up our sleeves, and work together peacefully for the betterment of all of Roswell.
Claire Bartlett November 06, 2013 at 11:13 AM
Mary, Voter turnout is always bad in the municipal elections during an off year. Johns Creek, with all the drama going on there, had the same voter turnout as Roswell. Sandy Springs has a larger population and lower turnout with more seats up for grabs. So you have to look at the percentages to get the picture.
janet h russell November 06, 2013 at 11:32 AM
Low voter turnout is the result of people feeling like no matter what they say or do - no one listens and nothing changes. Mayor Wood ran on a platform of term limits. And here he is in his 5th term. He donated $500.00 to the campaigns of Orlans and Diamond. He wants his ideas signed, sealed and delivered. This city has lost its charm and sold its soul to the highest price a developer can offer. I attend almost every council meeting and I can tell you that those who do attend are so turned off by what they see happening and the treatment of citizens by the Mayor that they never return. They just shrug their shoulders and say "oh well- good ole boy/girl politics in Roswell" . What's the use of giving up my time for this? I hear this all the time from many segments of our population in Roswell.
Morris Devereaux November 06, 2013 at 03:27 PM
Janet has an excellent point. Mayor Wood wasn't even opposed. That speaks less to how popular he is and more to the lack of other qualified candidates with name recognition. How anyone can take the traditionally low turnout of a municipal election and read into that, that it meant the incumbents were popular, I have no idea. If that's the case, why weren't hordes of their supporters at the poll driving out these usurpers? Didn't happen that way either, did it? The actual numbers aren't the issue. A certain percentage of people, the people who keep up with the issues, came and voted. Almost half of them weren't pleased. And let's make sure we all understand, it's not all that easy to find out who voted for this idiotic water program, or the changes in shoving traffic down Grimes Bridge. You've got to do a lot of digging to find out. I suspect that ignorance kept a lot of people at home rather than looking for council members with torches and pitchforks.
Peter Morgan November 06, 2013 at 04:55 PM
Ask yourself; was your vote ( or non-vote ) support for the establishment of Milton County ?
Richard Arena November 07, 2013 at 09:24 AM
A twelve percent voter turnout does not constitute representative government. It is a reflection of the perversion that government at all levels has become. Part of the blame for this dismal showing is due to the fact that WHEN the local press covers matters of controversy it is from the perspective of those who write the check for the city’s legal notices. Controversy? What controversy? Nothing to see here folks. Move on move on. Another reason why citizens are disengaged is because at one time or another most voters experience the apparent truth behind the old saying, “you can’t fight city hall”. All but the most dense residents who go a council meeting to oppose a measure that threatens their neighborhood pretty quickly understand that it’s kabuki theater. The political class and those in the private sector to whom they are connected are, one way or another, going to do what they are going to do – oh, they make a show of listening, but at the end the day - or perhaps I should say, at the end of an interminably long evening - the whole exercise turns out to be a complete waste of time. This gives rise to the prevailing "why bother" attitude. Then too, there is no shortage of distractions. Why sit through mind numbingly dull city council meetings where the game is fixed when you can curl up at home and watch feel good TV? Roll all of those factors together and you have exactly what we saw Tuesday – a 12% turnout – half who had something to gain and half who apparently never tire of tilting at windmills. In 1787, the year the U.S. Constitution was crafted, Thomas Jefferson wrote the following warning, ““If once [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, Judges, and Governors, shall all become wolves.“ So it is.
Kendra Myers Cox November 07, 2013 at 10:19 AM
This conversation is wonderful, and I hope that many more like it are going on -- and that it will make a difference, so that we see greater numbers in two years. I also feel compelled to note that while I feel a great kinship with my fellow Roswell residents who live east of Highway 400, I grew up and now live on the "west side!"
janet h russell November 07, 2013 at 11:26 AM
Kabuki Theatre is the perfect description for City Council Meetings. There are a few questions I have asked that are NEVER answered. And I question what is going on in the secret meetings (which they say are open but not advertised). Last week I wanted to attend the 'closed session of council ' after the regular meeting and was told I was forbidden...imagine that a citizen who attends almost every meeting, who knows what questions to ask, who knows where the bodies are buried being forbidden from attending a Roswell City meeting of council. It will be very interesting to see what happens when the 2 court clerks are testifying in court...if they get that far. The City may settle out of court to cover up a few things.


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