The four Oak Ridge City Council members re-elected on November 6 will be sworn into office during a special meeting this evening (Tuesday, November 27).
Council will then choose two of its members to serve as mayor and mayor pro tem. The mayor and mayor pro tem, who serves in the mayor’s absence, serve two-year terms. Under the City Charter, they are chosen by Council after each municipal election every two years.
Oak Ridge City Council member Warren Gooch, who has served two terms as mayor, has announced he will seek to be appointed to a third two-year term.
So far, no one else has publicly announced an interest in serving as mayor.
Oak Ridge City Council member Rick Chinn, who has served one term as mayor pro tem, has announced he will seek to be appointed to a second two-year term.
But another Council member, Jim Dodson, has announced that he also would like to serve as mayor pro tem.
So far, Chinn and Dodson are the only two candidates to publicly express interest in serving as mayor pro tem.
Gooch and Chinn were both re-elected to their second four-year terms on City Council on November 6. Two other incumbents, Kelly Callison and Ellen Smith, were also re-elected this month, and Council member Derrick Hammond won a special election to serve the last two years of former Council member Hans Vogel’s four-year term. (See this story for more information.)
Dodson was first elected in November 2016. (Council members serve staggered terms, meaning four seats are open for election one even-numbered year and the other three seats are up for election the next even-numbered year.)
In Oak Ridge, the daily responsibilities of running the city are delegated to a city manager, who is selected by Council. The mayor and mayor pro tem cast votes during City Council decisions, and the mayor—or mayor pro tem when the mayor is not available—leads City Council meetings, signs ordinances and resolutions, and serves as the ceremonial head of the city, among other duties.
Tonight’s special meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building Courtroom at 200 South Tulane Avenue.
After the special meeting, Council members will have a non-voting work session to discuss the proposed U.S. Department of Energy landfill in Bear Creek Valley west of the Y-12 National Security Complex. The new landfill could be used as the existing landfill, also west of Y-12, fills up and DOE cleanup work shifts from the East Tennessee Technology Park (the former K-25 site) to Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Y-12.
Council’s work session will be with Dave Adler, acting deputy manger of the DOE Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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