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1. Political forum is Thursday. The Manchester Times and Thunder radio will host a political forum event from 4:30-8 p.m. at the Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center – 147 Hospitality Blvd. – Thursday.
The event is free to the public to attend and for candidates to participate.
In total, 23 candidates from seven county-wide races and one city race have been invited to participate in the event. Candidates for District Attorney General, Manchester Alderman and Coffee County Mayor have been invited to participate in a question-and-answer session with Peterson and Thunder Radio’s Lucky Knott, who will serve as moderators.
Candidates for District Attorney – incumbent Mickey Layne (D) and challenger Craig Northcott (R) – will take the stage from 5-5:30 p.m. for a forum session with Peterson and Knott.
Seven of the eight candidates for alderman – incumbent Cheryl Swan, Nelson Watson, Claude Morse, Tim Kilgore, Lana Sain, Gary Trail and Sam Miller – have been invited to the event and will participate in a forum session between 6-7 p.m. Candidate Chris Robison will not be able to attend the event due to a work conflict.
Tim Brown and Gary Cordell, candidates for Coffee County Mayor, are scheduled to close the evening with a forum from 8-8:30 p.m.
Speaking schedule for candidate forum
4:30-4:34 – Don Nicoll – candidate for county clerk
4:35-4:39 – Teressa McFadden – incumbent candidate for county clerk
4:40-4:44 – Leann Partin – candidate for register of deeds
4:45-4:49 – Donna Toney – candidate for register of deeds
5-5:30 – District Attorney Forum – incumbent Mickey Layne and Craig Northcott
5:35-5:39 – Benton Bartlett – candidate for road superintendent
5:40-5:44 – Scott Hansert - candidate for road superintendent
5:45-5:49 – Steve Moran – candidate for road superintendent
6-7 – Alderman Forum – incumbent Cheryl Swan, Tim Kilgore, Claude Morse, Nelson Watson, Lana Sain, Gary Trail, Sam Miller, Chris Robison
7:05 – 7:09 – Jason Huskey – candidate for General Sessions Judge
7:10-7:14 – Jere Ledsinger – incumbent candidate for General Sessions Judge
7:15-7:19 – Rodney Banks – candidate for Trustee
7:20-7:24 – John Marchesoni – candidate for Trustee
7:30-8 – County Mayor Forum – Tim Brown and Gary Cordell
2. 27-cent property tax hike will be recommended to commission Tuesday. The Coffee County Budget and Finance Committee approved and voted Tuesday to recommend a 27-cent property tax increase for all county residents.
The recommendation will come before the full Coffee County Commission for a vote at its Tuesday meeting, set for 6 p.m. at the Coffee County Administrative Plaza in Manchester.
“As much as we all hate tax increases, I think we’ve cut about as much as we can cut from this budget,” chairman Rush Bricken said, “so unless anyone has any other ideas, I think we need to go ahead and vote on this.”
County Mayor David Pennington added that the committee had “come a long way” from its original estimates.
“We started out a few months ago looking at a 39-cent increase,” Pennington said, “so this is a major improvement.”
The committee then voted unanimously in favor of both Resolution No. 2014-17, with the itemized departmental budgets for the upcoming fiscal year, and No. 2014-18, which itemizes the resulting tax levy.
Additional tax rates of $.0751, $.3173 and $.2800 will apply to the city of Manchester, the rural area and the Coffee County Industrial Park, respectively.
Both resolutions will be placed on the commission’s agenda for votes at Tuesday’s meeting.
While the proposed tax levy is $2.8871 per $100 of assessed value, roughly 30 cents higher than last year’s rate of $2.5825, three pennies of increase are from the certified tax rate, which increased this year to compensate for the slight decrease in average home values during the most recent reappraisal.
The remaining 27 cents is needed to cover the county’s increased costs over last year’s budget.
According to Budgets and Accounts Director Marianna Edinger, the increase equates to roughly $68 per year for a home valued at $100,000.
The administrative plaza is located at 1329 McArthur Dr.
3. Early voting continues this week. Early voting for the August 7 state primary, county general and Manchester municipal elections began July 18 and ends August. 2. Election day is August 7.
Manchester and rural Coffee County residents can vote early by going to the Coffee County Election Commission office between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and between 8:30 a.m. and noon on Saturdays during the July 18-Aug. 2 window. The election commission office is located at 1329 McArthur St. Suite 6 in Manchester.
Several county-wide offices, Manchester Alderman seats and Coffee County Commissioner seats are being contested.
For Coffee County Mayor, voters will decide between Tim Brown (D) and Gary Cordell (R). Another county race that has heated up throughout the summer is for Coffee County Road Superintendent, where voters will decide between Scott Hansert (I), Steve Moran (D) and Benton Bartlett (R).
County Trustee is between Rodney Banks (D) and John Marchesoni (R); Register of Deeds is between Donna Toney (R) and Leann Partin (D); County Clerk is between incumbent Teresa McFadden (D) and Don Nicoll (R); District Attorney is between incumbent Mickey Layne (D) and Craig Northcott (R). Other district races will determine Coffee County Commissioners. For a complete sample ballot, click here.
For Manchester Alderman, eight people are seeking three spots. The three candidates receiving the most votes will each serve four-year terms.
Incumbent Cheryl Swan is the only current board member seeking re-election. The terms for Roxanne Patton and Donny Parsley are also up but neither are seeking re-election. Also running for alderman besides Swan are: Claude Morse, Gary Trail, Nelson Watson, Lana Sain, Sam Miller, Tim Kilgore and Chris Robison.