Candidates can file for Middlesboro City Council vacancy

Published 12:42 pm Friday, January 25, 2019

Any candidate interested in filing for the remaining unexpired term on the Middlesboro City Council can pick up filing papers at the County Clerk’s Office in Pineville at the old courthouse.

When a vacancy occurs, the law requires the vacancy to be filled by appointment until the next General Election, according to Bell County Clerk Debbie Gambrel. The next General Election is Nov. 5.

At the Jan. 15 Middlesboro City Council meeting, former councilman Bo Green was appointed to fill the seat left vacant by Kevin Barnett, who resigned effective Jan. 1 after being named as head of the Middlesboro Street Department.

Email newsletter signup

Mayor Rick Nelson said at the meeting that the council had up to 30 days to make a decision. But council members made the appointment that night.

The vote placing Green in the seat was unanimous. but it led to citizens voicing their disagreement with the decision.

Jim Hyde, who ran for a council seat and received 827 votes — the highest vote-getter among those not elected — also voiced his concerns about council members not taking those votes into account.

“I understand what the state law is when it comes to filling a vacancy on the city council,” Hyde said. “I talked personally with them at the state election commission and he was telling me that council had the right to put whoever they wanted in there instead of the next person with the next amount of votes.”

All completed forms for any candidate wanting his or her name on the ballot for the vacated Middlesboro City Council seat must be filed in the Pineville office no later than 4 p.m. on June 4.

For additional information or questions, contact the clerk’s office at 606-337-6307 and speak with Debbie or Kayla.