New information provided by the School of Government will delay Warrenton’s process of appointing a town board member to the seat vacated by Commissioner Tom Hardy, who resigned last month. The information will also impact this fall’s town elections.
At the board’s monthly meeting Monday night, Mayor Walter Gardner reviewed a state law that outlines when a board appointee may serve an unexpired term, versus when the appointee has to run for office.
General Statute 160A-63 states that if the term of office expires immediately following the next regular city election, or if the next regular city election will be held within 90 days after the vacancy occurs, the person appointed to fill the vacancy shall serve the remainder of the unexpired term.
Gardner noted that Hardy’s seat is due to expire at the end of this year, and the appointee who fills it would have to run for office this November if he or she chooses to. However, Hardy’s seat was not necessarily the one at issue.
The town board appointed Commissioner Mark Wethington in November to fill the vacant seat of Travis Packer, and thought he could complete Packer’s remaining three years.
According to GS160A-63, Wethington can serve only until an elected successor takes office; however, Wethington can run for office in November and, if elected, complete Packer’s term. Wethington could also choose to run for a four-year term on the town board rather than Packer’s remaining two-year term.
Warrenton’s town board runs on staggered terms, and three four-year terms and Packer’s two-year term will be on the ballot in November.
Gardner said that this is the first time that the general statute had been brought to the attention of the board, which in previous years has appointed Commissioners Mary Hunter and Kimberly Harding due to board vacancies. He said that in those instances, he didn’t recall there being lengthy terms of office remaining from their predecessors.
In regard to naming a replacement for Hardy, Town Administrator Robert Davie is notifying citizens formerly interested in Packer’s seat about the current vacancy. Any citizen of the town of Warrenton may apply for the town board seat by submitting a Statement of Interest. The town is also requesting a 60-word statement to be published on the Warrenton website and for publication consideration by The Warren Record.
Statements of Interest and other documents are due no later than Feb. 5. To obtain a Statement of Interest, contact Robert Davie at 252-257-1122.
The Warrenton Town Board is planning to make an appointment at its March 8 meeting. Candidates may address the board during the period reserved for citizen comments at the beginning of that meeting.