Alexandria Seeks to Change City Election Cycles to Save Money

Alexandria currently elects its city leaders in odd years during the month of September
But the Alexandria mayor and aldermen have begun the process of changing the city charter regarding the municipal election, having it to run in conjunction with the August County General Elections in even years to save the city money. The change will extend the terms of the present board of mayor and aldermen by at least one year to adjust their election cycles.
During Tuesday night’s monthly meeting, the aldermen unanimously adopted a resolution seeking to amend the city’s charter, an action which will have to be approved by the Tennessee General Assembly.
The terms of Aldermen Kelly Pyburn, David Cripps, and John F. Suggs currently run through 2019 while the terms of Mayor Bennett Armstrong and Aldermen Randy Payne, Danny Parkerson and Matt Boss are to expire in 2017.
Under the proposed amendment to the charter, a mayor and three aldermen are to be elected on the first Thursday in August, 2018, who will serve a four year term through Thursday, August 2022 or until their successors are elected and qualified. Those positions are currently held by Mayor Armstrong and Aldermen Payne, Parkerson, and Boss.
The proposed amendment to the charter further provides that at the municipal election on the first Thursday in August 2020, three aldermen are to be elected who will serve a four year term ending on the first Thursday of August 2024 or until their successors are elected and qualified. Those positions are currently held by Aldermen Pyburn, Cripps, and Suggs.
City attorney Vester Parsley told the mayor and aldermen that changing the dates of the municipal elections will keep the city from having to spend two thousand to three thousand dollars each election cycle.
Once the charter amendment is adopted by the state legislature, the Alexandria Aldermen will have to adopt it again by at least a two thirds majority.
In other business, the aldermen voted to opt in to the state residential building codes program. According to Tim Planer, who works for the State Fire Marshal’s Office as a State Residential Building Supervisor, the city has three options: to opt in to the state program; to adopt a plan of its own; or to opt out altogether. Planer addressed the Mayor and Aldermen Tuesday night.
“After each election there is a 180 day period for a jurisdiction to opt out of the state standard building codes. Each jurisdiction has three options as far as building codes. The first one is to opt out in which there are no building codes in the area and there are no inspections. Because of that there are no certificates of occupancies that are issued against the properties,” said Planer.
“The second option is to be an exempt jurisdiction in which you have your own building department. Your own inspector. You hire them and they work for the city,” he said
“The third option is to opt in to the state building code program. The statewide standard for building codes is that the state supplies the building that sells the permit. The state supplies the inspectors and we do the inspections and issue the certificate of occupancy on new construction. This new construction is for new housing and for additions only. Outbuildings and sheds are not required to have permits or inspections. Nor are detached garages. The only time is if you are changing the footprint of the house and that is either going out or up. That is the only time a building permit is required for those. In most cases there are three or four inspections required including footing or foundation; roughed in, which is roughed in framing, mechanical, and plumbing, and a final inspection. Upon passage of all these inspections, a certificate of occupancy is issued,” he concluded.
The aldermen chose the third option.

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