Johnson City Press Saturday, October 25, 2014

News Local News Erwin

Several candidates lining up for spots on town boards

August 22nd, 2014 9:02 pm by Brad Hicks

Several candidates lining up for spots on town boards

ERWIN — Three seats on the Erwin Board of Mayor and Aldermen and two seats on the town of Unicoi Board of Mayor and Aldermen will be up for grabs in the November general election, and it looks like each of these posts will be contested.

Thursday was the deadline for candidates seeking these positions to file qualifying petitions to the Unicoi County Election Commission office.

Six candidates filed petitions to vie for three seats on the Erwin board. Those filing paperwork were David Seagroves, Virgil Moore, Gary Chandler, Michael Baker, Ron Arnold and Stephen Wilson.

All three of the seats on the Erwin board to be voted upon are currently filled by appointments. Moore was appointed to the board in February following the death of Erwin Vice-Mayor Lester Bailey. Chandler, who also currently serves on the board, was previously appointed to the board after alderman Mark Lafever was hired to serve as the town’s public works director.

Also up for grabs is the seat previously held by Robie Sullins, who resigned from the board in March. Carolyn Wells Tipton was appointed to fill this unexpired term, but she is not seeking election to the post in the November election.

Three candidates filed paperwork to vie for two seats on the town of Unicoi board. Those filing petitions were incumbent Alderman Jeff Linville, Phil Hensley and Kathy Bullen.

One of the two open seats was previously held by longtime alderman Mark Ramsey, who recently resigned from the board. The other was held by Michael Phillips until his death earlier this year. Linville was appointed in March to fill Phillips’ unexpired term.

Terms of both these municipal boards are staggered. Other seats on the boards, as well as the position of mayor in each town, will be contested in the 2016 election.

It appears voters in the town of Erwin will also have the opportunity to decide whether to permit the sale of wine and liquor within the town’s limits. A pair of petitions — one pertaining to the allowance of liquor by the drink and the other pertaining to allowing the establishment of retail liquor stores — have garnered enough signatures for referendums for each item to appear on the Nov. 4 ballot.

County Administrator of Elections Sarah Bailey said that as of Thursday afternoon, the retail liquor store petition had 172 signatures, and the liquor by the drink petition had netted 156 signatures. A total of at least valid 153 signatures were required on each petition for the referendums to appear on the ballot.

The Election Commission will meet Tuesday to certify the candidates for the November municipal election, as well as to review and certify any submitted petitions. 

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