Judge Seat On Ballot

At last night's Lenoir city council meeting, Mayor Tony Aikens informed the council that state law would require the vacant position of Lenoir City Judge to be on the August ballot. The vacancy is due to the death of Judge Terry Vann.

Petitions for any candidate to seek the office will be available at the Loudon County Election Commission office beginning today,  3/29/16. Candidates will only have till noon, April 7th to return their petitions to qualify to be on the ballot. Petitions require signatures of at least 25 qualified city voters.

The council also voted to begin taking resumes, from qualified candidates, who would be interested in being considered for a temporary appointment to fill the judges position till the August election. The city attorney will begin taking resumes from qualified candidates for the temporary appointment starting tomorrow 3/29/16 thru the end of business day of April 6th. The city attorney will make a recommendation to the full council at their April 11th meeting.

Qualifications to run for or seek the temporary appointment of city judge are that he or she shall be a resident of the City of Lenoir City one year and a resident of Tennessee five years immediately preceding his or her election, at least 30 years old and licensed to practice law in Tennessee.  

According to the 2015-2016 Lenoir City budget, the salary for city judge is $65,358.00 plus benefits. Court is held at least one day per week. However after the meeting, councilman Eddie Simpson stated that he is unsure if the pay would remain the same and that court could go to three days per week. This presents a certain dilemma for those considering a run for the office.

The deadline to qualify to seek the office is essentially 8 days away. The council does not meet again till April 11th when any decisions pertaining to pay or workload could be discussed or voted on. At the current $65,358.00 plus benefits and one day per week court, some candidates may have an interest in the job. But if the council were to decide to reduce the pay and increase the workload, some candidates may have less interest. With all the uncertainty, well qualified candidates may be hesitant to go through the process of an expensive election.

At least one potential candidate was in attendance at the meeting. Attorney and Lenoir City resident, Robin McNabb, was at the meeting. Ms. McNabb is the wife of former Lenoir City councilman, Mickey McNabb. Ms. McNabb said she did have an interest in the position.

I'll keep you updated on the process.