Locust Grove Sets Date for the Mayor Special Election

Photo of Locust Grove city hall (Clayton Carte photo)
(Clayton Carte photo)

Locust Grove has approved the date to hold the mayor special election. The election is to fill the vacancy following the passing of Mayor Robert Price.

The special election will be on November 5, 2024. Candidate qualifying will occur in August.

Locust Grove Mayor Special Election

Mayor Robert Price passed away on March 15. He had served as the city’s mayor since 2012. The council deliberated at their April 1 meeting when best to hold the special election to fill his seat. Because of the state’s elections calendar, the city’s options were May 21, the upcoming primary election, or wait until November. There were no in-between options.

City staff advised the council it would be difficult to hold candidate qualifying and meet other deadlines before the May 21 ballot. In addition, the city would have paid 100% of the expense to hold an election within 90 days. By waiting until November, this provides sufficient notice for the county elections office to run the special election. It will appear alongside other ballot items in November.

In addition, the city council approved calling for a special council election. This is in the event one or multiple members of the current council resign to run for mayor. The special council election will also appear on the November ballot. The new mayor and any new council member(s) would take office immediately upon the certification of the election results this fall.

Candidate Qualifying

Qualifying for the mayor’s seat will take place on August 6–8. The candidate qualifying fee is $540. Candidate qualifying takes place at city hall.

If any council members run for mayor, then they must resign from the city council. In this event, qualifying to fill vacancies on the city council will be August 19–21. The council qualifying fee is $360.

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Temporary Operations & Chance for No Council Meetings

For the interim, Mayor Pro Temp Vincent Williams will preside over council meetings. Each city selects a mayor pro temp annually in case the mayor is unavailable for events, or in this instance, passes away.

The Locust Grove charter requires the mayor or mayor pro temp & four council members to be present to conduct meetings. Right now, the city has a mayor pro temp & five council members. In the event two or more council members resign to run for mayor, then the city would be unable to approve council agenda items. This is because there would not be enough members on the council to make a quorum.

Based on this information, the candidate qualifying period for mayor is scheduled immediately after the council’s August 5 meeting. This allows the present council to consider action items up to this meeting. After the mayor’s qualifying period, if two or more council members run, then the council would be unable to approve items until mid-November. This would represent about three months of meetings.

Action items, such as approving the budget, rezoning requests and contract approvals, would be held during this time period. Based on the city waiting until November to hold the special election, the city’s staff can best prepare for this possibility. It will not affect the city’s day-to-day services such as police protection and utilities.

Featured image shows Locust Grove city hall. Clayton Carte photo.

About Clayton 1529 Articles
Clayton Carte is the founder and owner of MHF News. He founded the site in 2017 to highlight transportation projects. Over time, he began covering other topics like new development so residents can best know what’s happening in our community.