-3 Seek Mayor’s Seat, 7 Council, in November

Contributed by: Ann Hinch on 8/18/2006

Candidates aplenty on Lenoir City election ballot

This fall's mayor and City Council races in Lenoir City will feature plenty of competition, as evidenced by the sign-up list at deadline cutoff Aug. 17.

Incumbent Mayor Matt Brookshire is seeking a third term Nov. 7. Challenging him for the two-year position are Thomas "Junior" Proaps Jr. and Kelli Watkins.

Council incumbent Mickey McNabb, who was appointed to his father Tommy McNabb's seat following his the latter's death in 2003, is not seeking re-election. His and two other positions on council are up for four-year terms.

Incumbent councilmen Gene Hamby and Alan Williams are on November's ballot. Like McNabb, Williams was appointed to replace his father, Curtis Williams, after his the latter's death in early 2004.

Competition for the three council seats is at-large, meaning who mever garners the three highest numbers of votes will serve. In addition to Hamby and Williams, John Harris, Stephanie Sharp, Douglas "Buddy" Hines, David Martin and Mike Henline will campaign.

The next two paragraphs replace the one in notes

Henline, who has two years left on the Lenoir City Board of Education, would probably not have to resign that seat, should he be elected to council. Tennessee Election Commission references relies on a 1980 state attorney general's opinion which that addressed the reverse issue - a Camden, Tenn., city official seeking simultaneous election to city school board - and did not prohibit it since because city charter did not forbid it.

"The (Lenoir City) charter is silent on it," said City Administrator Dale Hurst, who added City Attorney Shannon Littleton did not contradict his interpretation. "Unless I'm missing something, it talks about a host of other things, but it doesn't address that."

Henline, who has two years left on the Lenoir City Board of Education, would have to resign that seat and his vacancy be filled by appointment, should he be elected to council. (Alan Williams was able to serve on the Loudon County school board after his appointment to council because it was county, not city.)

A vacancy requiring immediate appointment is that of Martin on Loudon County Election Commission. Administrator of Elections Dana Zehner explained District 21 State Rep. Russell Johnson would recommend a replacement, since the vacant seat is Republican, but the state election commission ultimately decides the appointee.

The only two candidates for two four-year city school board seats are incumbents Rosemary Quillen and Bobby Johnson Sr.

All city terms up for election have been unusually long, in that those seats would have been on an April 2005 ballot if not for a city charter change voters approved in November 2004 to put city elections on the same cycle as state and federal.

This resulted in a 19-month extension of office for the incumbents, and will save Lenoir City about $15,000 in administrative fees, since because the state foots nearly all the bill for even-year November elections. Those holding council and city school board positions not up for election Nov. 7 will also enjoy one-time term extensions, since their April 2007 elections have been pushed back to November 2008.

Any city or county resident not registered to vote but wishing to cast ballots - state and federal general elections will also be Nov. 7 - must do soregister by Oct. 6. Zehner stressed that mail registrations must be postmarked before Oct. 8; after Oct. 5, she urges registrars to take their envelopes to a postal clerk and specifically request the postmark, rather than just drop it in a mailbox.

For more information, contact Zehner's office at 865-458-2560.