The city of Norcross holds a distinction in tomorrow’s elections: a 50 year age difference between opponents. Two-term incumbent Charlie Riehm is 74-years-old; his challenger, Lillian Toole, 24. She’s the youngest person in the city’s history to seek elected office. Mayor Bucky Johnson and Councilman Craig Newton are on the ballot unopposed.
Noteworthy is how it was Riehm's idea to give elected officials who do the job on a part-time basis (mayor, and then city council) a 50 percent pay raise. It was the first pay increase for the council in 18 years. The raise takes effect for those elected in or after January 2014. So if Riehm loses the election, he won't get the raise that was initially his brainchild.
The measure passed 4-1, Mayor Pro Tem Andrew Hixson its lone dissenter. “I just don't think it sends the right message, giving us raises," Hixson told the Norcross Patch.
The city’s finances are what incited Toole to run for council.
Contenders’ biographies follow:
Education: 2008 Norcross High School graduate; some college, currently enrolled [American Public University, online]
Occupation: Surveyor at Guild Quality; dog walker, child care provider
Political Experience: None
Family: Single, no children
Charles E. Riehm, Jr. (i)
Education: BSEE, Notre Dame; MSEE, Purdue; MBA, Fairleigh-Dickinson; Nuclear Engineering, US Navy
Occupation: Councilman, trader in equities
Political Experience: Eight years as councilman, Downtown Development Authority board member
Family: Wife Edie, sons Chuck, 49; Steve, 48; Eric, 45; and daughter Cathy, 39; five grandchildren
Voting will take place tomorrow at Norcross City Hall in historic: 65 Lawrenceville Street. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7p.m.