LEBANON -- Recently, Mark Pody, former State Representative of the 46th District, was elected to the Tennessee State Senate in a special election that was held during the month of December. The votes of that election have been officially certified, leaving the seat of Representative for the 46th District vacated. The Wilson County Commission is required to appoint an individual to fill the vacated seat until the general election to be held on November 5th, 2018.
The Wilson County Mayor's office has worked closely with the following individuals and offices to ensure that the law is upheld in every aspect of this appointment: Mr. Robin Roberts, CTAS representative; Mr. Phillip Warren, Wilson County Election Commission; Mr. Lee Pope, State of Tennessee Office of Open Records; Mr. Andrew Dodd, Tennessee State Election Commission; County Attorney Mike Jennings; and the State of Tennessee's Comptroller's Office.
T.C.A 5-5-111 states that a public notice must run in a paper of general circulation for not less than seven (7) full days prior to the meeting. Upon receiving the certification of the votes from the special election, the earliest possible date that a public notice would appear in most every paper in Wilson County is January 3, 2017.
With this in mind, the County Mayor's Office surveyed the Wilson County Commission in regards to which date the Commission as a whole would prefer to meet and make the appointment. After tallying the votes, the special called meeting is set for January 10th, 2018 at 6:00 PM in the upstairs County Commission Room of the Wilson County Courthouse. The individual selected by the County Commission to represent the 46th District will take office immediately and serve until the general election on November 5, 2018.
The State Representative for the 46th district includes Cannon County and portions of Wilson and DeKalb counties. Individuals nominated to fill the vacant position must be residents of the 46th district which consists of Cannon County and portions of Wilson and DeKalb Counties. Registered voters of these districts are allowed to submit names for consideration either during the meeting or in writing to the County Mayor prior to the meeting.
The procedure for the night of the special called meeting will be as follows: the public will be allowed to submit names to the Commissioners that they would like to see as State Representative for the 46th District until the next general election on November 5, 2018. After the public comments period has ended, the Commission will then return to regular session and review the nominations that were spoken during the public comments period. At this time, Commissioners will begin making their nominations for a 46th district representative. Though public comments will be accepted and considered, all official nominations must be made by County Commissioners.
A County Commissioner can nominate an individual recommended by the public, providing the individual nominated agrees, in writing, to serve if elected. A County Commissioner can, however, choose to nominate an individual that was not discussed during the time for public comments. Should a commissioner nominate an individual that is not present at the meeting, the Commissioner making the nomination must present a signed statement by the nominee that he or she is willing to serve should they be elected. There is no second required to the nominations.
After nominations cease on the floor, the nominated individuals will be given an opportunity to address the Commission. Nominees will be asked to make a brief statement about themselves and why they are seeking the position. Please note that only the nominees that were nominated by a County Commissioner will be allowed to address the full Commission at this time. There will be no public comment period after nominations have been submitted.
Members of the County Commission will be the only individuals allowed to vote on the vacancy issue. The County Commissioners will use paper ballots to vote. It will take a majority vote, of at least 13 votes on the first ballot, or if there is a tie between two individuals, the nominees with the lowest number of votes will be eliminated and a second vote will be taken. This process will continue until one individual receives a majority, or 13 votes. Once the vacancy has been filled, the individual elected will serve until the next general election to be held on November 5, 2018.
The County Mayor's office has submitted a public notice outlining the meeting date, time and place to every newspaper in Wilson County as well as newspapers in Cannon and DeKalb counties. Copies of the public notice have also been sent to the county mayor in both Cannon and DeKalb counties. In addition, a copy of the public notice regarding this meeting is available to view online at www.wilsoncountytn.gov. If you have any other specific questions related to this process, please contact our office and we will do our best to assist you.