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Gov. Bentley responsible for filling commission vacancy

Published 2:39pm Thursday, November 21, 2013

Gov. Robert Bentley will be responsible for appointing someone to fill the vacancy on the Chilton County Commission created by Tim Mims of Maplesville who died Nov. 14.

Bentley spokesman Jeremy King said the governor’s office did receive notice of Mims passing away and the office had received a formal request from Chilton County government for Bentley to appoint a replacement.

“I don’t have a timeline of when someone would be appointed, but we did receive notice and our office will review applications for that position,” King said.

Section 11-3-1 of the Code of Alabama addresses the vacancy of the county commission and says, “Any vacancy on the county commission shall be filled by appointment of the governor.”

The section goes on to state that the person appointed to the vacated office “shall hold office from the date of appointment until the eighth day following the next general election. If the original term in which the vacancy occurred would not have expired on the eighth day following the next general election after the appointment, the person elected at the election required by operation shall serve for a period of time equal to the remainder of the term in which the vacancy was created.”

Mims, a Republican candidate, was re-elected to the commission Nov. 6, 2012 to serve a four-year term.

King said there is no deadline for when Bentley could appoint someone to fill the vacancy.

“We thoroughly review the candidates,” King said.

King said typically, candidates are submitted to Bentley for consideration from various parties in Chilton County.

“We often receive suggestions from local parties, judges and other commissioners who typically give their input as to who they think would be a good candidate,” King said. “We receive suggestions from a variety of sources. We then take that feedback and begin the process of filling that vacancy.”

King said candidates can express interest to the governor’s office or suggestions can be made on Bentley’s website with applications for boards and commissions.

Rep. Kurt Wallace (R-Maplesville) said on Thursday that he is hoping to meet with Bentley to understand how the process works in moving forward.

“Gov. Bentley has the final say,” Wallace said.

Wallace said he was hoping to meet with Bentley this week but Bentley has been traveling to different parts of Alabama after returning from an economic development trip to Japan last week.

“I want to sit down and talk with him and understand how this process works,” Wallace said.

Wallace said he is unsure what sort of criteria Bentley would take into consideration for a new candidate such as where Mims was from in the county or what political party he represented.

“I don’t know if his starting point would be looking at someone from the western side of the county in the Republican Party or if he would be looking at something totally different,” Wallace said. “I don’t think you will see this happen in a hurry, but it is all up to the governor.”

Mims, 53, was first elected to serve on the Chilton County Commission on Nov. 12, 1996, after receiving 12,828 votes, the highest amount of votes for commissioners in that election.

He served on the commission until Nov. 14, 2000, but did not run again for the commission until 2004. After receiving 13,789 votes in 2004, 13,985 votes in 2008 and 19,657 votes in 2012, Mims received the highest amount of votes for commissioners each time he was elected.

Mims served on the commission until he passed away Nov. 14 from a battle with cancer.

For more information about a board or commission application, visit www.governor.alabama.gov/contact or call (334) 242-7100.

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