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Names sought for interim appointment to South Boston council / February 01, 2018

South Boston Town Council is looking for citizens who are interested in filling the vacancy created by the Jan. 10, death of Councilman Billy Clarke.

At their monthly work session Monday night, Council members instructed Town Clerk Jane Jones to seek out the names of residents who may want to serve on Council. Anyone interested in the position is asked to contact her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by Thursday, Feb. 8, at 5 p.m.

Candidates should include a short resume with their reasons for wanting to serve on Town Council.

Currently, South Boston has only one person who has indicated an interest in filling the vacancy, said Jones, but she expects more persons will express interest within the next several days.

Council members are expected to appoint an interim successor within 45 days of the date of Clarke’s death, or by Feb. 25.

The interim appointee will serve until a special election for the seat can be held on May 1.

Jones explained that anyone interested in holding the position must be a qualified voter and live within town limits. Council hopes to be able to interview possible candidates during the Feb. 12 monthly meeting.

The appointee can then decide if he or she wants to run for the seat in the May town election.

According to Halifax County Registrar Heather Harding, the winner of the special election will serve out the remainder of Clarke’s term, or until June 30, 2020.

However to have their name on the May ballot, a candidate must complete the filing paperwork — which means getting 125 names of registered voters to sign their petition to seek the office by March 6.

The May 1 election will also determine three other spots on Council that need to be filled. It is expected that incumbent members Bill Snead, Coleman Speece and Winston Harrell will seek re-election although none of the three has made an official announcement of his plans.

Harding said voters will cast their ballots for the three regular Council seats and then vote under the section on the same paper ballot listed as “special election” for the newly elected member.

For residents interested in serving, they are reminded that Council meets on the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers on Yancey Street. Council also holds a monthly work session, beginning at 5:45 p.m. on the last Monday of the month, unless further changes are needed to the schedule.

In other business Monday evening, Council members received the town’s annual 2017 Financial Report from Stephen Gay, a partner with Harris, Harvey, Neal & Company, LLC. Gay advised members that South Boston has experienced “a real good year for revenues” and has remained close to budget on income and expenses.

“You have good controls in your treasury department,” said Gay, noting that the Town had paid down over $1.5 million in debt over the past year.

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