Forest residents interested in running for the vacant Ward II Alderman’s seat have until 5:00 p.m. today, Wednesday, July 28, to turn in their qualifying paperwork.
The vacancy on the board was declared July 6 during the regular city board meeting after Ward 2 Alderman Allan Atkison stepped down.
Atkison, who along with Ward 3 Alderman Harry Robinson were inducted into the Mississippi Municipal League Hall of Fame this week, has also retired from the education field where he most recently served as Principal of Forest High School.
As of press time on Tuesday two potential candidates had turned in their qualifying papers, Lynn Atkison, Allan Atkison’s wife, and businessman Vance Cox. The election commission will meet on Thursday to certify the candidates for the August 17 special election.
In a statement earlier this month Forest Mayor Nancy Chambers was very specific in explaining the Ward II Alderman’s seat special election, which will be held at the same time as a previously announced special election on a 2% Tourism Tax for the city.
“There will be two things on the ballot in Ward 2,” she said, “that will be the seat for the alderman Ward 2, and the referendum on the local and private tourism tax on hotels and motels and prepared foods. The election will be city wide. There will be four other wards voting but those four wards will only vote on the tourism tax.”
The proceeds from the tourism tax, if approved, are for the purpose of enhancing the parks and recreations programs and for promoting tourism, to include regionally promoting the city of Forest.
If approved by voters the 2 percent tax levy would go into effect September 1 and based on the typical time frame that the state reimburses sales tax revenue to cities, Forest could begin seeing the benefits in December.