Oak Ridge North cancels May election with no opposition to incumbent council members

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With all three of its city council members in contested seats officially running unopposed, Oak Ridge North will not hold a regular election in May.

Council members Clint McClaren, Dawn Candy and Frances Planchard received no opposition by the candidate application filing deadline on Feb. 15, nor by the write-in deadline on Feb. 19.

“We had no one come in to file to contest any of the places so we have an ordinance to cancel the election,” City Secretary Elizabeth Harrell said at the Feb. 25 city council meeting.

The council unanimously passed an ordinance canceling the election and electing McClaren, Candy and Planchard to office as of May 4, the day the election would have been canvassed.

The three council members representing seats 2, 4 and 5 will each serve a two-year term. The seats of Mayor Jim Kuykendall and council members Paul Bond and Alex Jones, representing council positions 1 and 3, will be contested in the 2020 general election.

Otters pool contract

At its Monday evening session, the council also approved a modified contract with the Oak Ridge Otters swim team for use of two lanes at the Marilyn Edgar Park Pool this spring. The original contract laid out a regular practice schedule for the team during afternoon and evening hours throughout April and May as well as during mornings and four specific evening hours in June.

The new contract includes an extra pair of evening dates for the team in June, which the council hesitantly approved due to the limitations it would place on community members who might want to use the lanes in early summer.

“We should go ahead and move on this, and I think we’ll see what happens and then we’ll move forward for next year,” Bond said.

Fine cap, health hazard

The council also approved an ordinance amendment that sets an increased limit on fines related to dumping refuse. The addition of a $4,000 fine cap puts Oak Ridge North city code in line with state local government code.

Finally, the council declared the deteriorating concrete decking at the Marilyn Edgar Park Pool to be a public health and safety hazard and approved a contractor for repairs. The move followed an unsuccessful attempt to solicit bids for the repairs, allowing the council to choose a contractor for the work.

“It needs to be done,” Bond said. “We’ve got to get it repaired. It is a health and safety issue for sure.”

The Benson’s Rock Hard Construction, of Montgomery, was chosen to complete the work for $56,363.

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