Businessman Yawn to run for Ward 3 council seat
by Rebecca Johnston
July 09, 2014 12:00 AM | 2102 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Farris Yawn
Farris Yawn
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Downtown Canton businessman Farris Yawn has already indicated his plans to run for the Ward 3 council seat vacated by former Councilman Glen Cummins in his move to city manager.

Yawn, who made it to a runoff for a seat on the council in December, announced his plans on Facebook on Friday after Cummins resigned his seat on the Canton City Council on Thursday night to permanently assume the reins of the city manager position.

“Whatever you may think about Glen Cummins’ hiring as City Manager, his new position leaves a vacancy on City Council. I have been approached in the past few weeks by many, many citizens wanting me to run in the special election to fill that post,” Yawn said in the statement. “I am pleased to announce that I am a candidate for Canton City Council and look forward to serving the citizens of Canton, Georgia.”

Mayor Gene Hobgood said the council would be asked to vote at the July 17 meeting to call a special election to fill the now vacant seat. Hobgood said the election would be held during the primary election set for Nov. 4.

In 2013, Yawn ran in a three-way race with Molly Lewis and John Rust, before making it to the Dec. 3 runoff election against Rust, who ultimately captured the seat with 59 percent of the vote.

In that election, Yawn ran as a self-described “independent candidate.” He has owned a business in downtown Canton for nine years and said at the time he knows what it takes for the city to move forward.

“I understand the challenges faced by both business owners and residents in Canton, and I have a vested interest in seeing both sectors thrive,” Yawn said prior to the runoff. “I am a businessman, not a politician, and I am truly an independent candidate who will serve the citizens of Canton to the best of my ability.”

Yawn is also a board member and the former vice president of the Cherokee County Arts Council and has been affiliated with multiple other resident organizations, including the Cherokee Historical Society.

“I am a big believer in professional associations,” he said at the time. “And I have been involved in leadership positions with many of them throughout my career, and I am currently a member of several such organizations.”

Cummins was named the new Canton city manager Thursday by a narrow margin and resigned from his Canton City Council seat immediately following the vote.

The Canton City Council voted 3-2 in favor of making Cummins the full-time city manager, with Council members Bill Grant and Sandy McGrew opposed and Cummins abstaining from the vote.

Council members Jack Goodwin, Hooky Huffman and Rust supported Cummins’ bid for the full-time job, which pays $120,000 annually.

Council members receive a salary of $8,000 per year.

The move to appoint Cummins to the position drew stiff opposition from some city residents, with one person filing an ethics complaint against Cummins for his decision to seek the job while still on the council.

The winner of the special election will take office immediately, Hobgood said. The term runs through 2015.

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