Proposed annexation raises questions about city hall representation

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – The City of Columbus’s proposed annexation has raised questions among voters in the targeted areas.

One of those questions has to do with representation at City Hall.

A state law said that any candidate for city office has to be a resident of their ward for at least two years.

That would seem to lock newly annexed residents out of the City Council or Mayor’s Office should annexation be finalized before next year’s city elections.

There is a “but” though.

Columbus operates under a special charter that states that to run for council you only have to be a resident of the ward for three months.

For the mayor, the residency requirement is only 30 days.

The big question is “Which rule prevails?” City Attorney Jeff Turnage has sent that question to the Mississippi Attorney General.

“And, the city is a ‘special charter’ city, and normally, special charter provisions control over general law. So, I’m pretty sure the answer is going to be three months for Council and 30 days for Mayor, but given the importance of getting it right, we’re sending off for an AG opinion,” said Turnage.

Turnage expects to have an answer in the next three to four months, which is still well in advance of the 2025 city elections.

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Categories: Local News