Qualifying for the seat began Monday, Jan. 28, and ended Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 4:30 p.m. Two people — paving contractor Clarence “Clay” Kissner, 37, and former mayor Judd Burkhart, 65 — have qualified for a place on the ballot,.
Early voting will be held Feb. 25 through March 15 at city hall.
Two seats are vacant on the council. But the seat left vacant by Charles Sharrock is not officially open, since Sharrock is appealing his dismissal from the council following charges of sexual misconduct. Sharrock’s seat will not be available for election until a legal opinion is given in that case.
“We cannot take any action on that until after the appeal, and a hearing date is not set,” elections superintendent Orma Luckey said. “The seat itself is not up for re-election for three more years.”
The winner in the March 19 special election will fill the council’s Ward 5 seat through Dec. 31. The winner can choose to run again during the next election in November, but he will have to re-qualify and pay the fee, according to Luckey.
In November, three council seats will be up for re-election. Citizens will vote for the seats of Earl Gray from Ward 2, Louis Hamm from Ward 3, and Eddie Stinnet’s successor from Ward 5. Though the council seats are separated into wards, Fort Oglethorpe’s at-large status allows citizens throughout the city to vote on every seat listed on the ballot.
“Whoever wins that election (in March), if they want to run again (in November), they will have to pay the fee,” said Luckey.
The fee associated with qualifying is 3 percent of a council menmber’s $8,500 annual salary, a total of $255.
The Catoosa County election on the referendum for the special-purpose local-option sales tax (SPLOST) will be held simultaneously at Constitution Hall on Forest Road. The Fort Oglethorpe location is one of five precincts voters will be sent to for the SPLOST referendum.