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VOL. 128 | NO. 170 | Friday, August 30, 2013

Early Voting Opens for Lakeland, Arlington

By Bill Dries

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The first votes in a series of 11 elections across Shelby County over the next three months will be cast Friday, Aug. 30.

(Daily News File/Lance Murphey)

Early voting opens Friday Downtown at the Shelby County Election Commission for citizens in Arlington and Lakeland in the only regularly scheduled elections of 2013.

The two smallest towns in Shelby County find themselves linked on several issues including the coming move to suburban school districts.

Arlington Mayor Mike Wissman and Lakeland Mayor Scott Carmichael have sketched out a proposed seven-year contract in which their respective school districts would share some operating costs and have attendance zones that allow students from the one town to continue attending schools in the other town.

Shelby County Commissioners have also discussed but not yet acted on the idea of a utility district that could provide fire and ambulance service to the two areas as well as unincorporated Shelby County.

Early voting in the two sets of town elections begins Friday at the Shelby County Office Building, 157 Poplar Ave. It continues there through Sept. 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with no voting on Sundays.

There will be one day of early voting each in Lakeland and Arlington.

Arlington early voting will be Saturday, Sept. 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Arlington United Methodist Church, 6145 Quintard St.

Lakeland early voting will be Saturday, Sept. 14, over the same hours at theRefuge Church, 9817 Huff ‘n’ Puff Road.

Election day in Arlington and Lakeland is Sept. 19.

Voters in Lakeland are electing a mayor and two members of the town’s commission.

The race for mayor of the suburb is a three-way race among Carmichael, Shelby County Commissioner Wyatt Bunker, who has been talking tentative terms on a utility district, and former Lakeland Mayor Jim Bomprezzi.

Each Lakeland voter will also vote for two of five candidates for the commission positions.

The candidates are incumbent Commissioners Cecil Tompkins and Donald Barber as well as Sherrie Gallick, Clark W. Plunk and John Wilkerson.

Voters in Arlington are electing three aldermen in the town election cycle that does not include the race for mayor.

Position 4 incumbent Oscar L. Brooks Sr. is being challenged by Brian “Elder” Groves.

Position 5 incumbent Harry McKee is being challenged by Joshua Fox.

And Position 6 incumbent Brian Thompson is being challenged by Larry M. Harmon Jr.

It is the second of three trips to the voting booth this year in Arlington and Lakeland. Voters there and in the four other suburban towns and cities voted in July on referendums to create municipal school districts. And all six suburban towns and cities have elections for their separate schools boards on the Nov. 7 ballot.

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