Qualifying opens three weeks from today for three Rome City Commission seats as well as all seven spots on the city Board of Education. Rome voters also will help decide the fate of extensions of both the special tax for government projects as well as the penny tax-per-dollar for city and Floyd County education projects (county voters also will have a say on the tax extensions as will the city of Cave Spring.
This could be one of the rare years where the School Board elections get more attention than the City Commission seats. Rome City Schools have undergone considerable change in leadership and direction since the 2012 election, especially in the superintendent’s office (four including Dr. John Jackson’s months as interim superintendent) and Rome High principal (three in four years).
The board itself saw some change with the death of longtime member Judy R. Sims a year ago. Will Byington was appointed to replace Sims
The incumbent school board also will have its fingerprints on what goes on the education tax ballot for Rome schools with most of the current focus on a city-only college and career academy; greatly expanded sports facilities adjacent to that academy; and the Main/North Heights project.
Here’s what you need to know:
Rome City Commission seats on the fall ballot:
Ward Two: Wendy Davis, Jamie Doss, Sue Lee. Davis and Lee have announced plans to see new terms; Monica Sheppard also says she’s running.
About the city commission elections:
- At-large voting is used, which means that every registered city voter votes for all commissioners, three in each ward.
- Election winners are selected by plurality voting, which means that the top three vote-getters from each ward wins. No majority is required.
- The three seats on Ward One and three seats on Ward Three will appear on the November 2019 ballot.
- Elections are non-partisan.
- The City Commission elects a mayor and a mayor pro tem.
Rome City Board of Education
All seven seats are on the ballot with each winner serving a four-year term. The current board members are: Elaina Beeman, Will Byington, Faith Collins, Richard Dixon, Cheryl Huffman, Bruce Jones, Dale Swann.
Also expected on the city ballot (as well as a countywide ballot)
1-cent special purpose local option sales tax: A committee is reviewing ideas for a proposed extension of the penny-per-dollar local sales tax to fund various projects if approved by voters.
1-cent education local option sales tax: Both city of Rome and Floyd County schools’ teams are finalizing projects to include on a one-cent-per-dollar local tax to fund specified school project. This would be an extension of the current education tax.
Aug. 21-25: Qualifying for city commission and the seven school board seats.
Oct. 10: The last day to register to vote if you’re a lapsed or new city resident.
Advance voting begins Oct. 16 and ends Nov. 3.
The election is Tuesday, Nov. 7.