The Murfreesboro City Council voted Thursday to adopt a resolution requesting the Tennessee General Assembly pass a Private Act amending the Murfreesboro Charter in order to fill the vacancy left by the late Vice Mayor Doug Young.
If the Tennessee General Assembly votes to amend the Charter, which is considered a procedural matter, the Charter change would provide the Council with the option to call a special election to fill vacancies. Currently, the Charter only allows vacancies to be filled by “appointment” providing the vacancy occurs before 270 days of the next regular election. The next election would be August 2018.
During the first Council meeting of the new year, January 5, members discussed its options in filling council vacancies. A consensus of the Council agreed that the authority to either appoint or call for a special election would be in the best interest of the citizens of the City for Council.
Under the proposed amended Private Act, The General Assembly would strike the current language in the Section 15 of the Charter and replace it with language that includes the following:
“City Council may elect to fill a vacant council seat, other than that of mayor, either (i) by appointment upon affirmative vote of the majority of the remaining council members of council; or (ii) by calling a special election by resolution providing to the Rutherford County Election Commission if the vacancy occurs more than 180 days before the next general election to fill the unexpired term of the vacant seat.”
Additionally, the resolution amends other Charter language to be consistent with City’s current election process, which was changed in 2014 as provided by state statute.
A PDF copy of the Charter change and a summary of the Proposed Charter Amendments adopted in the Resolution by the Council is attached.
The late Vice Mayor Doug Young, 68, passed away December 18 after a battle with cancer.
The City Council would still need to establish a date for the Special Election. The cost of holding a Special Election is estimated at $61,000, according to Rutherford County Election Commission administrator Alan Farley.