By Adam Armour/The Itawamba County Times
The Northeast Itawamba Water Association will be accepting nominations for new board members during their annual meeting, scheduled next week.
Set for Monday, Dec. 10, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Salem Community Center, the meeting will set the stage for the water association’s coming year. During the meeting, the board will call for nominations from the floor for both potential members of an election committee and then candidates for the next year’s board of directors.
All Northeast Itawamba Water Association customers are encouraged to attend.
Although no date has been set for the election proper, Northeast Water Association Board of Directors President Ralph Burkes said it will take place between Christmas Day and the beginning of the year. He said a notification of time and date will be included with December water bills.
According to the water association’s bylaws, a quorum — or 51 percent of the water associations’ members — isn’t required to hold an election. Instead, any majority vote qualifies.
In other words, if only 10 customers vote, and six of them vote for “candidate X,” then he or she is elected to the position.
Most elections, according to Burkes, see about 400 people voting.
Once the election is completed, the new board will be installed in January.
Board members are responsible for overseeing the day-to day operations of the water system, which services more than 1,700 customers in the Salem and Ridge Road areas. They are also responsible in setting the budget each year.
The next board will also be tasked with deciding how the system will begin supplementing its water supply to compensate for low water levels, a multi-million dollar decision that will affect the direction of the water system in the foreseeable future.
Positions on the water board are non-paying.
The regional water system operates under the leadership of seven board members and a president. Because the water system encompasses two major areas, three candidates from each area will be eligible for nomination. The remaining board member will serve at-large and may be from either area.
Along with Burkes, current board members include Ed Manning, Jeff Hill, Glenn Grissom, Reed Adams, Steve Holcomb and Oneal Hammock.
As dictated by the water association’s bylaws, board members Reed Adams, Steve Holcomb and Oneal Hammock, who replaced three board members who left their positions mid-term, will be automatically nominated as candidates for next year’s water board.
The annual meeting isn’t all about the election. According to Burkes, the board will also present the budget for the coming year.