By Southern Sentinel
RIPLEY – Ripley aldermen set a date of Tuesday, Jan. 17 for a special election to choose a replacement for Ward 3 Alderman Lonnie Smith, who resigned Monday, Nov. 28 after pleading guilty to manslaughter.
The board held a short special meeting at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday Nov. 29, to accept Smith’s letter of resignation. Smith, who was serving his first term of office, was not at the meeting. He turned himself in Monday morning to begin serving a 12-year sentence at a place to be designed by the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
After aldermen set the election date, a legal notice of the election will run in the Sentinel for three consecutive weeks, beginning Dec. 14. Those interested in qualifying to run can come by City Hall, pick up a petition, get signatures from at least 50 qualified voters in the ward, then return it to City Hall.
After city and county election commissioners verify the signatures, candidates must file a Qualifying Statement of Intent. The deadline to qualify to seek office will be Wednesday, Dec. 28, according to City Clerk Robin Vernor.
Whoever is elected will serve the unexpired portion of Smith’s term, which expires in July, 2013.
The cost to qualify and file a statement of intent is $10, city officials said.