Pct. 3 JP transition could happen by Aug. 1

Normally, winner would not take office until January

Instead of having to wait until Jan, 1 to take office, the winner of the Republican Party runoff election for Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace could be taking office as soon as Aug. 1.

Long time Pct. 3 JP Margie Anderson is not seeking reelection and has expressed her desire to retire, according to Shelby County Pct. 3 Commissioner Charles Barr.

The race pits Melba Rodgers against Darrell Alford. They were the top two finishers in the March primary out of a field of five candidates. Rodgers led the field with 438 votes, or 42.2 percent, to Alford's 298 votes, or 28.71 percent of the total.

There are no candidates on the Democrat ticket in November's general election so the winner of the GOP runoff would normally take office in early January.

“We will have a new JP on July 14, I would recommend we swear the new one in on the 15th,” Barr said at the June 24 Shelby County Commissioners' Court meeting. While Anderson has been working out of her house, Barr said the county has lease space rented for whoever takes over the position.

Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison said the new JP cannot be swore in until Anderson's resignation is effective. County Treasurer Ann Blackwell said Anderson had been in contact with her and plans to submit her resignation effective July 31.

“She had to have it (retirement request) in a month in advance,” Blackwell said.

That would pave the way for having the newly elected sworn in and seated on Aug. 1.

Pct. 1 JP Donna Hughes, who attended last week's meeting, said she and other Shelby County justices of the peace are ready to help in the transition from Anderson to the newly elected. Hughes said they will help with the transfer of records to ensure those which are needed are properly retained while those no longer needed are properly disposed of through shredding.

“If someone like me needs to say I'll temporarily be responsible for those records then I'll check on them and make sure they're safe and secure in order to give us that month to get moved before we swear in our new JP,” Hughes said.

“Anyway the JP's can coordinate to make that happen and expedite everything we're all on it,” Hughes said. “We love her. (Anderson.) We're going to miss her, but we'll help her.”

Harbison lauded the cooperation the other JP's have shown in helping to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Hughes also addressed the court to request cleaning products for the new building where her office is located. In the COVID-19 environment, it will be necessary to between all hearings and take other precautionary measures.

She said masks will be part of the required attire for people appearing in her courtroom while hearings will be scheduled at least an hour apart to allow for cleaning.

For related stories from the June 24 Shelby County Commissioners' Court meeting, please visit: https://www.lightandchampion.com/news-center-news-joaquin-news-shelbyville-news-tenaha-news-timpson-news/passing-state-jail

And: https://www.lightandchampion.com/news-center-news-joaquin-news-shelbyville-news-tenaha-news-timpson-news/historic-clock-renovation

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