2nd Time Charm?
|Apparently for General Sessions Judge, Rex Dale, the second time was
the charm. Dale made his second attempt in less than a month to
establish a second court to take some of the pressure off him. Well, for
better or worse, he got the votes this time. Loudon County now has
better than a half million dollars in judges and courts. I guess we
should get ready to see a lot of improvements in our court system.
Now that the new court has been established, commissioners will have to pass the litigation tax increase to help off set the growing costs of the doubled courts or just pay for it out of the general fund. That vote should come in August.
The really big deal now is, commission will have to make the temporary appointment to fill the new judge position till the next regular election which will be August 2016. The new position comes with a salary of approximately $153,000.00 per year plus benefits with guaranteed yearly raises. Same as the current judge. With two full time judges, the workload should be pretty light.
Only qualified attorneys who live in Loudon County would be eligible to be considered for nomination to position. Any attorneys interested in seeking the nomination can submit their name to the county mayor or can ask any commissioner to support their nomination. The vote to fill the new judge's seat could come as early as August 3rd but must be filled by the first of September as mandated by Judge Dale's private act.
As I said before, the appointment is only till the August, 2016 county election. The position will be an open seat in the election. Any qualified attorneys may run for the position when it goes to the voters. The last time a general sessions judge seat was on the ballot was back in 2010 when five candidates ran for the seat. That's when Rex Dale was elected to the position. By the way, I don't remember him running on a platform to double the size of the court if elected, but I digress.
So if you're a qualified Loudon County attorney and have any interest in the nomination, you better get your name in the hat pretty quickly. If you are a qualified Loudon County attorney who plans to run for the office, it's just 13 months till the election. Better start knocking on doors now.
Foot Note: It's possible the judge's election may come as early as March 2016 if the position will have to go to a primary election. This would coincide with the presidential primary. Loudon County Director of Elections, Susan Harrison, will be getting clarification from Nashville on the matter.
I'll keep you posted.