Resolution for special election to fill late alderman’s seat tabled until Monday

Published 10:53 am Thursday, March 21, 2024

During a special meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen held Thursday, a resolution to authorize a special election to replace the late Ward 1 Alderman Michael Mayfield Sr. was tabled until Monday, while the appointment of a special election commission was unanimously approved.

Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said the resolution was tabled at the advice of City Attorney Kimberly Walker-Nailor, who laid out in a letter to Flaggs the reasoning behind the delay.

“The board is having to table the resolution until Monday, March 25, at 10 a.m.,” Flaggs read aloud from Walker-Nailor’s letter. “In 2022, the board adopted an ordinance redistricting Ward 1 and 2 by redrawing the district lines. Based upon the law, we have 45 days from the day we vacated the Ward 1 alderman seat to set a special election. We want to make sure that we have enough time to notify voters affected by the redistricting so they will know which ward they are assigned to and the location of their assigned precincts.”

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Walker-Nailor’s explanation for tabling the resolution referenced official municipal election guidelines for the State of Mississippi, which dictate that 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.  

Mayfield passed away Monday, March 11, after a brief battle with cancer and his seat was officially vacated the following day, Tuesday, March 12. That date, according to Mississippi law, dictates the timeframe a municipality must operate within in order to fill the vacated seat.

“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.”

According to the resolution expected to be approved at Monday’s meeting, the special election to fill Mayfield’s vacated seat will be set for Monday, May 6.

The resolution spells out that each candidate for the vacated seat must qualify by petition filed with the municipal clerk by 5 p.m. at least twenty (20) days before the date of the election, and all candidates will qualify as independents. The petition must contain the names of at least fifty (50) qualified municipal electors.

The Election Commissioners for the City of Vicksburg approved during Thursday’s meeting will be responsible for performing all of the duties required of them by law in respect to management, control, and holding of the election, according to the resolution.

Members of the commission approved Thursday include Alfreda Gibson, Dell Rogers, Trudy James-Brown, Greg Howard, and Oretha Horton.