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City prepares for municipal elections

While the nation chose its leader earlier this year, Brookhavencitizens will pick their leaders during municipal elections nextspring.

City Clerk Mike Jinks and Deputy Clerk Marsha Fairman completeda Secretary of State’s Office election training workshop earlierthis month in preparation for next year’s contests. Jinks said hisoffice is gearing up for candidate qualifying that will begin inJanuary.

“The fourth is the first day we’ll be back,” said Jinks,alluding to city offices being closed Monday, Jan. 3, following theNew Year’s weekend.

Citizens will be electing a mayor, city clerk, chief of policeand seven alderman positions.

Party primaries are scheduled for Tuesday, May 3, with runoffson Tuesday, May 17 where needed. The general election is Tuesday,June 7.

City tax collector, until now an elected office, will not be onthe ballot after aldermen voted to merge that office with the CityClerk’s Office. Incumbent City Tax Collector Pat Duckworth isretiring after four terms in office.

Also on Republican and Democratic primary ballots will be partycommittee members. Each committee, which is responsible forconducting party primaries the following election cycle, iscomposed of 10 members, the same as the city’s number of electedofficials.

“They have to qualify like everybody else,” Jinks said.

To qualify for party primaries, Jinks said candidates will haveto pay a $10 fee and be a registered voter of the city or ward ifthey are seeking an alderman post.

“We always check to see that they are a registered voter beforewe let them qualify,” Jinks said.

Independent candidates, whose names will appear on the generalelection ballot, must meet the residency requirement and collect apetition with the names of 50 registered voters of the city or wardthey are seeking to represent.

Potential candidates must also not have been convicted of anydisenfranchising felony. Jinks said there are 20 such felonies onthe list.

Current office-holders will serve through June 30. Municipalelection winners are scheduled to take office in July.