Special elections cost the county a lot of moneyBy PAT BROWN,
T ‘is the season for special elections. More and more they’ve become the common result of our regular elections.
Someone decides to retire in office or they change their minds about serving and decide to do something else, yada yada yada. And guess what? Holding a special election to replace them ends up costing us tax payers a whole lot of money.
Another consideration was echoed at the Board of Supervisors meeting this week. One person interested in the position as Justice Court Judge Post 2, Charles Savell, commented that the board had previously appointed Dusty Drennan as interim to the constable post when, according to Savell, Drennan had an interest in running for the position later.
The point is that once a person has served as interim, he or she is then already trained and therefore best qualified to win the election for the position.
I heard that point brought up previously--that the cost associated with equipping an interim to serve wouldn’t have to be paid again if the same person won the regular election. Savell’s point was that the precedent had been established with the appointment of Drennan.
A reader and long-term friend called and expressed his disappointment with the way some folks are using these interim appointments to establish legacies. Meaning once they leave office their own personal legacy continues because of the people they appoint to stay on long after they leave, as is the case with the Governor and even local leadership. My friend was of the opinion that these local appointees should only serve as interims, and if they are interested in running for office they should not be considered for the temporary appointments.
It is not unreasonable to expect any board to set standards for interim appointments, which would include the local school board because they have had to appoint members to fill temporary vacancies. Will those same people automatically win the regular election to the position because they have been given the interim experience? Once those standards are set, boards should follow them.
We are also having issues with our county Election Commission and who can serve on it.
I wonder if Allen Floyd will have to step down as Republican Party chair since the justice court position for which he is seeking an appointment is most likely non-partisan. Can he be a contender for that position? When he sought appointment to the chairmanship of the Election Commission, the Secretary of State determined that he could not be a political party chairman and also serve in that non-partisan capacity.
No matter what the outcome of all of this, we think that people who run for office should think long and hard before they choose to leave their office. They give unfair advantage to their replacement if those people seek election after they have served in the office.
Exceptions of health and unforseen circumstances do arise, but a better gig coming along may not be the best reason to leave office.
So that is our two cents’ worth and some folks would allow that is probably what it is worth.