TOP PHOTO: (Left to right) Ron Dilbeck, Ken Yager, Carl Douglas, Ralph Davis, Dennis Powers and Jim Henry at the dedication of the newly paved Stinking Creek Road in September 2019. (PHOTO COURTESY OF DEB MIKESELL)

JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – Veteran and local leader Carl Douglas passed away last month. As a result, Campbell County also lost one of its valued county commissioners. Now comes the daunting task of filling Douglas’ 5th district seat at the commission table.

According to Amanda Grodeman, administrative assistant for the Campbell County Commission, this vacancy will need to be filled at the upcoming Nov. 16 county commission meeting.

The procedure for appointing a vacancy to the county commission is briefly summarized as follows:

  1.  The vacancy must be filled within 120 days of receiving notice of the vacancy unless during that time there is a general election scheduled in the county and there is sufficient time for the vacancy to be placed on the ballot.  TCA 5-5-104(b)(2).

  2.  The presiding officer (Chairperson) of the county commission shall cause public notice to be given in a newspaper at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting at which the office is to be filled, notifying the public of the vacancy or opening to be filled at the meeting.  TCA 5-5-111(a)(2).

  3.  Before the county commission votes or considers any motion or resolution, the chair shall allow registered voters of the county an opportunity to submit names to the county commission for consideration.  The names may be submitted in writing to the chair prior to the meeting or may be submitted in person at the meeting.  In order for a name to be considered, a member of the county legislative body must nominate the person.  county commissioners may also nominate a candidate or candidates to fill vacancy without the name being submitted by a voter.  Nominations do not require a second.  If a person nominated is not present at the meeting, the person making the nomination shall submit a signed statement from the nominee that the nominee is willing to serve if appointed.  TCA 5-5-111(b).

  4.  After nominations cease, the county commission may discuss the nominations and may, at the discretion of the chair, interview nominees or allow nominees the opportunity to address the county commission.  Upon motion passed by the majority of its members, the vote to make the appointment may be postponed to a subsequent meeting, provided that adequate public notice of the meeting is given in accordance with Title 8, Chapter 44 (the Open Meetings Act or Sunshine Law).  TCA 5-5-111(d).

  5.  To receive an appointment, a nominee must receive the votes of a majority of the members of the county legislative body eligible to vote on the appointment.  The county legislative body shall adopt rules of procedures for eliminating nominees where there are multiple nominees and no nominee receives a majority of the votes after the initial vote.  A tie vote of the county commission may be broken in the same manner as other tie votes.  TCA 5-5-111(e).  In other words, the first nominee to get a majority of votes of the entire membership of the county commission, being 8 votes, is elected as the replacement county commissioner and the voting stops at that point.

  6.  When filling a vacancy to the county commission, the county commission shall fill the vacancy in accordance with the deadline (120 days) provided in TCA 5-1-104.  TCA 5-5-111(g).

  7.  The appointment is not effective until the new county commissioner takes the required oaths of office. TCA 8-18-107, 108, 110 and 111.

  8.  The appointment is valid until a successor is selected in the next general election. TCA 5-1-104(b)(1). (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 11/05/2020-6AM)