City utility employees can’t be aldermen
by Danny Wade
A local candidate running for city alderman will not have his name on the ballot in November. Jerry Young, who was seeking the Ward 3 alderman seat, was forced to withdraw his name.
It was questioned whether Young, as an employee of Humboldt Utilities, could qualify to run for a city office. Since the utility department is a city-owned utility, no Humboldt Utilities’ employee can be mayor or an alderman for the city of Humboldt.
Julieanne Hart, administrator of elections for Gibson County, said Tennessee law states a city employee cannot run for city office. She said Humboldt city attorney and MTAS (Municipal Technical Advisory Service) attorneys concluded Young was indeed a city employee working for Humboldt Utilities.
These legal opinions prompted the Gibson County Election Commission to rule Young not eligible to hold a city seat as alderman.
A public meeting of the election commission was held last week with both Young and current alderman, Don Graves who is seeking re-election, in attendance.
Hart said it was a hard decision to make disqualifying Young as a candidate but with two legal opinions of state law, the commission had to follow the law.