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Maplesville begins process to fill town council seat

A vacancy now exists on the Maplesville Town Council, as the spot was opened after Hal Harrison resigned from the position.

Harrison’s resignation was made effective during the Dec. 14 meeting.

“He had been a wonderful addition to the council,” Maplesville Town Clerk Dawn Smitherman said. “If any of the people in his district came to him with a problem, he seemed to be very thorough in everything that he did.”

Harrison took office during the 2012 election. He married and is moving, prompting his resignation, according to Smitherman.

“You can’t vacate an office and elect somebody (to that office) in the same meeting,” Smitherman said. “The earliest you can fill an office is at the next meeting.”

The next town council meeting is set for Jan. 18.

Anybody within District 1 that is a qualified elector can come by town hall prior to Jan. 18 and talk to the mayor or call and acknowledge that they wish to be considered as a candidate to fill the position.

“The council will go over all of the candidates and then vote,” Smitherman said. “That person will be sworn in at that meeting.”

According to Smitherman, a decision does not have to be made and can continue on through the following meeting. The circumstance could arise that there are several candidates to examine and the decision may require added time.

However, the council’s intention is to fill the void at the Jan. 18 meeting, according to Smitherman.

Harrison will not have a vote in the process of deciding who replaces him, as he has already vacated his seat on the council.

The mayor and all the council spots will be up for re-election in August 2016. As a result, the person who fills the vacancy will serve about a seven-month term.

“This person would just be filling that seat until the next election,” Smitherman said. “They want to fill it as soon as possible.”