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The Scoop - Elected officials should be elected
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Engulfed in an inferno of controversy, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry resigned Tuesday. It will allow Nashville voters to go to the polls and elect a new mayor in August.

The move got me thinking about our situation in McMinnville where Mayor Jimmy Haley is running for county executive. While Haley runs for county executive, he is keeping his seat as mayor.

Where this could create a problem is if Haley is in fact elected county executive in August. If this happens, and Haley keeps his position as McMinnville mayor all the way up to the General Election, it looks like city residents won't be able to elect Haley's replacement in the 2018 election cycle, meaning we would have an appointed mayor for more than two years until November 2020.

This seems way too long for my tastes because I operate under the old-fashioned philosophy our elected officials should be elected. That's why I think Haley should resign as McMinnville mayor before the election in August to give city voters the chance to pick his replacement should he become county executive.
The way it's been explained to me, city residents would miss this opportunity by several weeks should Haley not resign.

That's because it will take weeks to certify the election after it takes place Aug. 7. If Haley were to win, then resign as mayor at that point, there would be a qualifying window for candidates to pick up papers, have them signed, and then returned to the Election Commission. This would have to be done before the ballot is finalized in October.

All this is a long way of saying Haley can't wait until after the election to see if he wins if McMinnville residents are going to elect another mayor this year. Haley would probably have to resign in June, which I think is what he should do. City residents deserve to have an elected mayor, not one who is appointed for more than two years.

It should be pointed out Haley is no shoo-in to be elected county executive and he might not win that seat anyway. That's entirely possible.

If he were to resign as McMinnville mayor beforehand, he would be left in the cold and without an elected position at that point. I say that's a chance Commissioner Terry Bell took when he decided not to seek re-election to the Warren County Commission to run for county executive. If Bell can take that chance, Haley can too.

It's also not to say I would be disappointed by McMinnville Vice Mayor Ben Newman being appointed to the mayor position should Haley win county executive. Newman would be next in line and I think he would do a fine job. If he were forced to run for the mayor's seat in an election, it could be argued Newman would be favored to win anyway.
Maybe, maybe not. The only way to know for sure is to let the voters decide, which won't happen unless Haley resigns as mayor before the election. As a firm supporter of letting the voters be heard, this is exactly what I think should happen.

Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.