Oneonta announces election qualifying

Mayor Darryl Ray announced qualifying for the upcoming Aug. 28 municipal elections at the latest Oneonta City Council meeting. In addition to the mayor and council slots, places 1, 3, and 5 on the city school board will also be on the ballot. Qualifying for the positions began July 3 and will continue until 5 p.m. on July 17, according to state law. All Blount County and most Alabama municipalities elect their officers in the summer prior to presidential elections. Should a runoff election be necessary in any of the races, that will be held on Oct. 9.

Current city officials besides Ray are Tim McNair (Place 1), Hal Buckelew (Place 2), Mark Gargus (Place 3), Ross Norris (Place 4), and Danny Robinson (Place 5). Don Maples (Place 1), Robbie McAlpine (Place 3), and Winston Scott (Place 4) presently hold the affected positions on the city school board.

All offices have four-year terms. School board members have voted not to receive pay. Alabama councils set their own salaries in February before elections. The Oneonta salaries are $3,000 annually for councilors and $18,000 for the mayor. The city has set a qualifying fee of $50 for all positions.

In other action from the June 26 meeting, Jim Crego of the Jefferson-Blount-St. Clair Mental Health Authority addressed the council members. Crego thanked the council for its past financial support and requested an increase of $300 (to $4800) next year from the city. He detailed the number of Blount residents served by the group.

All council members attended the June 26 session. The council holds its regular meetings the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 5:30 p.m. at city hall.