Voters in Fairview will have a couple of extra layers of complexity to their ballots in the Nov. 3 election, as four seats on the City Commission are up for grabs but are split into two races with two different term lengths.
The Fairview Board of Commissioners is made up of five members — the mayor and four commissioners — who have traditionally held four-year terms, with staggered elections every two years. In the past, when the mayor’s seat was up for election, one other commissioner’s seat would be up as well, followed two years later by a race for three commissioners.
However, in 2016, the commission voted to restructure so that two commissioner seats would be up every two years for four-year terms. This year marks an adjustment period to achieve that structure, and all four commission seats are up for election.
At the polls, Fairview voters will choose three candidates from a list of seven prospective commissioners. The two candidates who receive the most votes will begin a four-year term. The third-place candidate will begin a two-year term. Voters will then choose one candidate from a list of two to receive the other two-year term.
Those on the seven-candidate list are Lisa Anderson, Derek Burks, Brandon Butler, Scott Lucas, Christopher McDonald and Debby Rainey. Those on the two-candidate list are Rod Dawson and Gregory DeWire. Rainey, Burks, Dawson and Lucas are currently on the commission.
However, another complication arose on Tuesday, Oct. 13, when Fairview Mayor John Blade resigned from his position, placing Rainey, the vice mayor, in his seat until the 2022 mayoral election.
Because it is too late to remove Rainey’s name from the ballot, voters will still be able to vote for her, but she cannot begin another term as a commissioner because of her new role as interim mayor. If she is one of the top three vote-getters from the seven-candidate list, that seat on the commission will remain vacant until Fairview holds a special election to fill it with another candidate.
The City Commission is responsible for passing ordinances, establishing policies and determining the city budget.