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Lawrence commissioners consider staggered terms

By Kristen Bishop 340-2443

MOULTON — Lawrence County commissioners said staggered commission terms would benefit the county but failed to agree on a plan Monday.

Commissioner Bradley Cross introduced the idea of staggered terms in January. He said it would prevent the commission from having all new commissioners elected at the same time.

Chairman Mose Jones agreed and recommended the commission hold staggered elections like the Board of Education. The five commissioners have four-year terms.

During the commission meeting Monday, Commissioner John Terry moved to approve a resolution requesting the state legislative delegation amend the law to allow for staggered terms. The motion passed with Commissioner Alma Whitlow seconding.

But Cross asked why the commission had not discussed the issue during a work session. He said he was concerned about which of the commissioners would have to serve shorter terms in order get on a staggered schedule.

Jones, who represents District 1, said if they scheduled the elections in line with the Board of Education, commissioners representing Districts 4 and 1 would have six-year terms. The others would have two- or four-year terms.

After that, all commissioners would revert to four-year terms.

Not until 2010

"It won't affect us at all," he said. "It won't happen until 2010. ... We'll have to run again in four years anyway."

Terry withdrew his motion because he didn't want to shorten anybody's term to two years, he said. The commissioners agreed to take up the issue at the next work session.

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