Post One Commissioner David Carmichael announced his resignation at last week’s BOC meeting for November, which avoids the need for a separate election later.
During the board’s morning session Paulding Elections Supervisor Deidre Holden explained that holding a separate special election to fill Carmichael’s Post 1 unexpired term could cost tax payers in the range of $100,000, or more.
Post One Commissioner David Carmichael announced his resignation at the end of the Board of Commissioners regular meeting for November, held last week. Carmichael has previously announced that he would run for Chairman in the 2016 election.
Commissioner Carmichael’s move followed a report to the board by Paulding Elections Supervisor Deidre Holden during the board’s morning session. Ms. Holden explained that holding a separate special election to fill his Post 1 unexpired term could cost tax payers in the range of about $100,000, or more. And she added that that also applied to other commissioners running for office who remain in their posts beyond the deadlines set by law. According to Ms. Holden, per the 2016 election calendar, in order to have at least 90 days to issue a call for an election and place candidates on a ballet in the precincts that they represent and avoid the necessity for a separate election, Carmichael, who had previously announced his intention to run for Chairman, would need to resign his post by November 12 to be on the March 1st Presidential Primary ballot in conjunction with that election. But Holden emphasized that she was not asking for anyone to resign, but rather she needed to clarify where things stood.
“I’m not asking any of you on the board to resign your post; you do a great job. I’m here to give you the facts...for what it’s going to cost. But I’m telling you this because it’s my duty to keep you and the public informed, and I can’t spend what I don’t have,” she said.
According to Holden, who also spoke with board members in a series of meetings prior to her public presentation, current budget for the department would not cover expenses incurred by the necessity to hold a special election ‘separate and apart.’
Commissioner Carmichael chose instead to resign at the conclusion of the November 10 meeting. Carmichael told the board and those in attendance that he would miss five meetings in total and he felt it was in the best interests to go ahead with it.
“I realize that an early resignation is just five meetings. [Deidre] mentioned the ‘separate and apart’ aspect, and that you can replace the Post 1 at a regularly scheduled election in March. That’s a tremendous cost savings...so by resigning to save the tax payers money, I will tender my resignation at this time,” he said. Carmichael said he felt that it was the obvious path to take. “To me, it’s a no-brainer. Not to say that there won’t be some important decisions during that time. [But] the biggest thing that we do, in my opinion, is the budget. The biggest responsibility that we have is to look after the people’s money,” Carmichael said.
Holden also told members of the board that the event of separated elections would lead to “mass chaos” at the polls and added that voters would find such an election “very confusing” and procedurally on Election Day might even require the voter to vote two times in separate areas due to necessities of the voting protocol.
“So now we’d be asking voters [potentially] to stand in two lines instead of one,” she said. Holden also said that to make the May 24 Primary ballot, the resign deadline would be February 10. Post 2 Commissioner Todd Pownall had said that he has thought about running for Chairman. Following the morning session last week Commissioner Pownall said that were he to decide to run for Chairman, he would consider the February deadline to resign his post.