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Aulander Council favors new terms

AULANDER – This November, elected municipal officials in Aulander will be operating in a different manner.

During their regularly scheduled meeting Monday night, members of the Aulander Town Council unanimously voted in favor of changing existing provisions of the Aulander Town Charter pertaining to the terms of office of elected municipal officials.

Following a public hearing, council adopted an ordinance amending the town charter to provide for expanded staggered terms, changing the time of service for elected municipal officials from two years to four years in an alternating fashion.

According to Aulander Mayor Joe Jernigan Sr. the new decree will come into effect November 1, 2005.

However, with both the mayor’s seat and all the council seats being up for reelection this fall, some might wonder how the terms of service will be determined to allow for the four-year rotation.

&uot;The terms would be established based on the number of votes,&uot; Jernigan said.

He said that in the first rotation, which will take place in November, whichever two candidates garnered the least number of votes for a council seat would serve the shorter term of two years.

The mayor would likewise serve for two years. The remaining three candidates who acquired the highest number of votes in that race would serve the longer term of four years.

&uot;The reason why we decided to change the provisions was to make sure that there was always someone on the board that was familiar with the issues facing the town,&uot; Jernigan said, adding that having a completely new board could potentially place the town and its citizens at a disadvantage.

&uot;Part of the reason council favored the change was so there would always be someone on the board with a good working knowledge of the current issues at hand as well as experience with the functions and procedures of local municipal government,&uot; he said. &uot;It just makes for a smooth transition in leadership.&uot;

The next municipal election in November of 2007 will be a reverse of the 2005 equation with the mayor-elect and two of the elected council members serving four-year terms with those remaining elected to the council serving two years. The same pattern will follow in subsequent elections.

Copies of the ordinance will be available at the Aulander Town Hall during regular business hours.

Any residents of Aulander interested in filing as a candidate for the November municipal elections can begin filing at 12 noon on July 1. Filing ends at noon on August 5.