Council fails to fill vacant Dist. 1 seat
LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — While five recently-elected Metropolitan Lynchburg/Moore County Council members were sworn in prior to the Council’s September meeting, the Council failed to appoint a councilman to fill the lone vacant seat in District 1.
Fourth District councilmen David Boyce, Arvis Bobo and Shawn Adams were sworn in on Sept. 19, as were First District council members Amy R. Cashion and Sandy Lewis.
Boyce, Bobo, Adams and Cashion were re-elected to the Council in August. As the only two running in the First District, Cashion and Lewis were unopposed in the August election; voters were able to choose three councilmen for District 1.
That left one seat vacant, due to the decision not to seek re-election by longtime council members Coleman March and Parks Norman.
The Council attempted to fill the vacant seat on Monday night. Following two roll-call votes, however, a stalemate remained between the two nominees — Darrell Richards and Sonny Rae Moorehead.
Moorehead, who was nominated for the position by Gordy Millsaps, won the first vote 7-6. Richards, who was nominated by Bobo, won the second vote however, by the same 7-6 tally. It takes a majority of the full council — eight votes — for a nominee to be appointed.
Rather than repeating the voting process continuously, the Council decided to table the issue until its Oct. 17 meeting. At that time, candidates must be nominated again and the process will start over.
Meanwhile, the Council elected a new chairman (Marty Copeland, Dist. 3) and a new chair pro tem (Cashion, Dist. 1). Copeland was unanimously elected chairman, while Cashion was elected by a 7-4 vote over Millsaps.
Copeland, who previously served as the chair pro tem, replaces March.
“I think Mr. March did a great job,” Copeland told fellow councilmen. “I will say this … at times it is harder than it looks.”
During Monday’s meeting, both March and Norman were honored for their longtime service to the Council and the community. Mayor Sloan Stewart presented each with a plaque of recognition.
“I had some doubts,” said March about serving as council chairman. “But you guys stood behind me … or set me up,” he quipped. “I want to thank you. I do hope you (Copeland) do a better job with names than I did.”
Norman said he appreciated the opportunity to serve the county as well.
“I enjoyed serving with all of you,” he said. “I learned a lot about the county government while I was here. It’s not as easy as everyone thinks it is.”
In other business Monday night, the Council began distributing the duties of filling its various boards. All boards are not set as of the September meeting, and Mayor Stewart said the Utility Board will continue to serve as is for another month. They Council hopes to finish filling all boards in October.
The Council also voted unanimously to allow the Sheriff’s Department to block off the town square Oct. 21-22 for the annual Jack Daniel’s World Championship Barbecue.