Welcome General Election Candidates!
Thank you for your interest in Richmond Hill city government, and the Council Member Post 2, 3 & 4 positions. The City of Richmond Hill is governed by a Mayor and four at-large Council Members; all are elected by City-wide popular vote. City elections are nonpartisan; i.e. candidates do not run as members of a particular political party, and their individual party affiliations are not relevant to their positions in city government.
The Mayor and Council serve four-year staggered terms. The purpose of this provision is to ensure that at no time is the Council composed of a full panel of freshmen members. There is a two (2) term limit placed on the position of Mayor.
In order to qualify for the position of Mayor or Councilmember, you must meet the following requirements:
- Must be a resident of the City of Richmond Hill for twelve (12) months as of November 5, 2019.
- Must be a registered voter.
- Must state which seat/person for which you are qualifying.
- Must pay a qualifying fee of $150 (3% of Council pay) or, if running for the Mayoral seat, $225 (3% of Mayor’s pay).
Qualifying for the 2019 General Election will begin on Monday, August 19, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. and conclude on Friday, August 23, 2019 at 4:30 p.m.in the office of the City Clerk at Richmond Hill City Hall, 40 Richard Davis Drive. The Qualifying packages will be available at City Hall beginning on Monday, August 12, 2019.
Council meetings are held at City Hall (40 Richard Davis Drive) on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday each month at 7:00 p.m. with a pre-agenda session scheduled at 5:30 p.m. on those same evenings.
Special called meetings, work sessions and retreats are called on an as-needed basis. Elected officials take office at the first organizational meeting in January following the election; or, at the first organizational meeting following a Special Election.
Once elected, the Mayor and all members of Council must continue to reside in the City of Richmond Hill during their periods of service and remain registered voters. Additionally, they may not hold any other city office or city employment during any portion of the term for which they are elected.
Compensation for elected officials is as follows: Mayor receives $625.00 per month. City Council members receive $416.67 per month.
Attendance is expected at these meetings as well as during annual Strategic Planning Sessions, some required conferences and seminars, and budget review sessions. Elected officials are also expected to participate in county or community involvement programs, leadership programs, and encouraged to attend various city functions and events.
Interested candidates should familiarize themselves with City operations, including but not limited to review of the City of Richmond Hill Charter, City Codes/Ordinances, the Constitution of the State of Georgia, and guidelines set forth by the Georgia Government Transparency Campaign Finance Commission.
All candidates should be aware that the City of Richmond Hill has a Sign Ordinance and campaign signs also fall under these regulations. Visit Richmond Hill Code of Ordinances to access the entire code of ordinances online. Other restrictions regarding campaign activities can be found in the Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A.) Title 21, also published as the Georgia Election Code and Rules of the State Election Board.
Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission (CGTCFC)
Certain documents are required to be filed with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, or GGTCFC (formerly known as the State Ethics Commission). Candidates should familiarize themselves with all forms, publications and the requirements of candidacy for public office.
All candidates should familiarize themselves with the Constitution of the State of Georgia, the City of Richmond Hill "Code of Ethics" and may find the Rules and Regulations of the State Election Board helpful as well. Another important reference publication is the "Handbook for Georgia Mayors and Councilmembers" published by Betty J. Hudson and Paul T. Hardy in conjunction with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government.
Items to complete and return to the City DURING the qualifying period:
- Notice of Candidacy Affidavit
- Payment of Qualifying fee
The following online resources and references are invaluable to candidates for public office:
Georgia Governmental Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission or GGTCFC (formerly known as the State Ethics Commission)
There are important documents and deadlines pertaining to all candidates for public office. Failure to adhere to the policies and filings as required by the GGTCFC may result in monetary fines. Candidates should familiarize themselves with all forms, publications, and the requirements of candidacy for public office. For detailed information, visit their website. Some of the most common forms are explained below:
- Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Act, Effective January 31, 2014
This is provided in your packet. This contains information regarding filing, penalties, campaign contributions, financial disclosure statements, public officials conduct and lobbyist disclosure. Any questions regarding this information should be directed to the GGTCFC.
- Declaration Form – aka Form DOI (Declaration of Intent to Accept Campaign Contributions): If you are currently not a public officer holding elective office and you plan to run for public office, you must file a DOI BEFORE accepting campaign contributions. The Form DOI is filed with the GGTCFC. This simply means a DOI is filed by a brand new candidate, not by someone already in office because they would have already filed a DOI when they were a new candidate. However, if they are running for a different office then they are a new candidate for that office and a DOI is required. Download the form (PDF).
- Form RC (Registration of Campaign Committee): Candidates are not required to have a campaign committee. However, if a candidate forms a campaign committee, the candidate must register the committee with the GGTCFC prior to accepting any contributions. No contribution may be accepted at any time here is a vacancy in either the position of chairman or treasurer. One person may serve as both chairperson and treasurer. No candidate may have more than one committee. The Form RC is filed with the GGTCFC.
- Filing Schedules
- PFD (Personal Financial Disclosure Statement): A Personal Financial Disclosure Statement must be filed with the GGTCFC within 15 days of a qualifying candidate for office or a significant fine will be imposed. PFD Statement (PDF)
- CCDR/FD (Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report/Financial Disclosure Report) (PDF)
- Two Business Day Report of Contributions Received
The Two Business Day Report must be filed if a candidate received contributions of $1,000.00 or more between the date of the last Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report filing and the date of the election. Contributions of $1,000.00 or more must be reported within two days of receipt of the contribution.
City of Richmond Hill Code of Ordinances
The Code of Ordinances for the City of Richmond Hill can be accessed at the Municode page.
Newly Elected Officials Training Requirement
State Law Training Requirement for Newly Elected Officials
Georgia Code: 36-45-9-1 Legislative Findings and Intent.
In 1990, the Georgia Assembly passed legislation requiring city officials elected after July 1, 1991, to participate in a special training program for newly elected officials.
The General Assembly finds and declares that it is in the best interest of the citizens of this state to require newly elected members of a municipal governing authority to attend a course of training and education matters pertaining to the administration and operation of municipal government during a period prescribed by the board (within one year of election). The purpose of such course shall be to instruct such individuals in the powers, duties, and responsibilities of their positions of public trust. This training is offered through a partnership of the Georgia Municipal Association and the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia.
The Newly Elected Officials Institute provides an orientation to municipal government in Georgia. Topics include the role of the mayor and council; the legal, ethical, and financial aspects of city government; and intergovernmental relations and working together within the city council. This course will be offered twice in 2019 and all newly elected officials must make plans though the City Clerk’s Office to attend one of these.
Elected officials that are presently in office and are running for another term, DO NOT have to take this training. If past elected officials are running again, they do have to retake this course if they were out of office for four years or longer.
Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission
200 Piedmont Avenue
Suite 1402, West Tower
Atlanta, GA 30334
Phone: (404) 463-1980
Fax: (404) 463-1988
Georgia Secretary of State Elections Office
2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
Suite 802, Floyd West Tower
Atlanta, GA 30334
Phone: (404) 656-2871
Fax: (404) 651-9531
Bryan County Georgia Elections & Registrations
151 S College Street
Pembroke, GA 31321
Phone: (912) 653-3859