Commissioner Walker will not seek re-election

Last updated: July 09. 2013 3:37PM - 188 Views

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Unlike Mount Airy incumbents who are up for re-election and have submitted necessary forms to place themselves on the November ballot, Elkin’s Board of Commissioners up for re-election have yet to submit any paperwork with the Surry County Board of Elections, records show.

In Elkin, three out of five of its town Board of Commissioners will see their term expire at the end of this year. If they seek to continue to serve, they must face re-election. The commissioners are Cicely McCulloch, Terry Kennedy and Joe Walker.

Walker, who has served on the board since 2003, has opted not to seek an additional term.

Walker’s announcement provides an opening for an Elkin resident to serve on the commission without trying to compete against an incumbent.

“I only have so many hours in the day. I have to give some up something,” said Walker. “My mother is in a nursing home, I have nine grandkids, two more on the way. I want to enjoy and balance the next phase of my life.”

A commissioner for the Town of Elkin is elected to a four-year term. Monthly meetings are required by the person seeking to fill the position.

Commissioners receive a stipend of $2,502 annually.

Any challengers will have until 5 p.m. on July 19 to enter the non-partisan municipal race by completing a Notice of Candidacy required by the Surry County Board of Elections.

“All the candidate has to do is come into our office and pick up a Notice of Candidacy form, have it notarized, and submit it to us by the filing due date,” Susan Jarrell of the Surry County Board of Elections in Dobson.

The candidate must be a registered voter. The candidate must reside within the Town of Elkin.

“Candidates may also download the document on our website. The filing fee for the Elkin election is $5. Petitions are not necessary to get onto the ballot for municipal office,” she said.

Failing to submit a notice by deadline does not disqualify a voter from seeking a Board of Commissioner position, but the process does become more difficult.

In October of 2011, current Board of Commissioner Dr. Skip Whitman announced his candidacy just weeks prior to the election and successfully campaigned as a write-in candidate.

However, according to the State Board of Elections, the success rate of write-in candidates winning a race by a write-in ballot are statistically slim.

“It’s best to be on the printed ballot,” said a State Board of Election spokesperson.

In Mount Airy, Mayor Deborah Cochran will seek re-election. Jon Cawley will seek to return as Commissioner for the North Ward, and Steve Yokeley will seek a return as Commissioner for the South Ward.

Mount Airy officials have a different platform to boast about, though. They unanimously adopted a 2013-2014 budget in June which slashed property taxes by 4 cents, while providing a 2 percent raise for city employees.

In contrast, Elkin officials unanimously adopted a 2013-2014 budget in June which raised property taxes 10 percent, while providing the same 2 percent raise for town employees.

Election Day will be held on November 5, 2013.

Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 336-835-1513 or agonzalez@civitasmedia.com.

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