The City of Tullahoma Board of Mayor and Alderman voted in July 2020 to send
a resolution to the Tennessee General Assembly requesting amendment of the
city charter to alter the City’s municipal election cycle. City officials
want to consolidate the city municipal elections with the county general
elections to save between $25,000 -$30,000 for each city-only election and
to significantly increase voter turnout.
State Senator Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma) and State Representative Rush
Bricken (R-Tullahoma) officially filed the legislation this month. Once
passed by the General Assembly, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen must approve
the amendment by a two-thirds vote before it becomes law.
The current terms for Mayor and Aldermen are three years, and city elections
are held each year. Under the proposed Charter amendment, terms would be
changed to four years, and city elections would only be held in even years
to join with the county general elections schedule.
Currently, preparations are being made for a city election to be held in
August, and two Alderman seats are anticipated to be on the ballot.
Depending upon the outcome and timing of the General Assembly’s approval of
the charter amendment, the city election may be changed to reflect that
those Alderman seats that would have been up for election in August 2021 or
August 2023 would be extended by one year to be elected during the county
general elections in August 2022 and 2024.
House Bill 1475 and Senate Bill 1629 states, “the three candidates who
receive the highest number of votes in the August 2022 election shall each
be elected for a four-year term, and thereafter, elections will be held for
these seats every four years beginning with the elections held in August
2026. The candidate receiving the fourth highest number of votes in the
August 2022 election shall be elected for a two-year term, until the
Thursday after the first Monday in August 2024, or until their successors
are elected and qualified. Thereafter, elections will be held for this seat
every four years beginning with the elections held in August 2024.”