City to hold special meeting to address vacant alderman seat left by the late Michael Mayfield

Published 3:47 pm Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Following the death of Ward 1 Alderman Michael Mayfield Monday after a brief battle with cancer, City of Vicksburg officials have been tasked with an unprecedented job: Replacing a sitting alderman mid-term.

“This has never happened before,” Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said Wednesday. “State law requires that you have to vacate the seat. We have met and decided what we are going to do is hold a specially called meeting next Thursday (March 21) at 9 a.m. At that time, we will set forth all the criteria and everything; all the qualifications and criteria for qualifying.”

Mayfield, who was first elected to represent Ward 1 in 2005, was most recently re-elected in 2021.

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According to official municipal election guidelines for the State of Mississippi, when a vacancy occurs and the length of the unexpired term exceeds six months, as Mayfield’s term does, certain procedural requirements must be met before the office can be filled.

“The governing authorities must enter an order on the official minutes requiring an election to be held in the municipality to fill the vacancy and fixing a date upon which such election will be held,” the guidelines read. “This order must be entered at the next regular meeting of the governing authorities after the occurrence of the vacancy or at a special meeting to be held not later than ten (10) days after occurrence of the vacancy. The order must set the election on a date not less than thirty (30) days nor more than forty-five (45) days after the date on which the order is adopted.”

The guidelines go on to specify that a municipality operating under a commission-style form of government, such as Vicksburg’s, may be open to possible variations to these guidelines; however, Flaggs said the special meeting will be held within the mandated time frame.

Thursday’s meeting will take place at the Robert M. Walker building, located at 1415 Walnut Street, and is open to the public.