Charleston to fill Commission seat by appointment
by DELANEY WALKER, Banner Staff Writer
Mar 14, 2013 | 740 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Commissioner Larry Anderson’s verbal resignation from the Charleston City Commission at Tuesday night’s meeting means a new representative will be appointed to his position.

Phaedra Walker, deputy registrar with the Bradley County Election Commission, said the next move is the Charleston Commission’s to make.

“They only have two options. Either they can appoint someone to his position, or they can pay for a special election,” Walker said.

She said Charleston has chosen to appoint commissioners in the past in lieu of a special election.

Walker’s words agreed with the Charleston City Charter.

“Any vacancy in the board shall be filled by appointment by the remaining members thereof, for that period of the unexpired term, which occurs prior to a regular city election at which time the remainder of the term shall be filled by the election ...,” according to section 6.20.110 of the city charter.

The only time this appointment cannot be made is when the second commissioner has also been appointed by the Commission. A special election would be called to cover the additional vacancy.

Anderson was one of three Charleston City Commission members, one of whom serves as the mayor.

According to the city charter, “If a city has chosen to elect commissioners from districts, any vacancy in a district commissioner’s office shall be filled by the appointment or election of a qualified person who resides in the district.”

Mayor Walter Goode and City Manager Caroline Geren agreed the opening will be advertised to the public.

“Those interested would send in a letter describing why they think they would be good as a commissioner,” Geren said.

Both Anderson and Commissioner Donna McDermott were recently elected to office in August 2012. Each commissioner serves a four-year term. The next election is set for 2016. According to the charter, the appointed official would serve until the next city election. He or she could run for commissioner in 2016.

In an interview Wednesday morning, Anderson said he felt “burned out.”

“We’ve been going through this annexation for over a year ...,” Anderson said. “It was supposed to be done at the first of this year, and now it is going into March.”

He said it felt like nothing he wanted to get done was ever fully addressed.

Goode and Geren both said they had no indication Anderson would resign.

“We are going to request a letter of resignation,” Geren said. “We need his resignation written out to add it to our records so it will be official.”