DeKalb residents to pay $80,000 for elections to fill unpaid vacated constable positions

DeKalb residents to pay $80,000 for elections to fill unpaid vacated constable positions

DEKALB COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - A special general election is planned for November to fill two vacancies for constable in DeKalb County.

In District One, Democrat George Roberts faces off with Republican Kyle Pike. And in District Two, Republican Billy Whitt is unopposed.

That election date is set for November 10th. But the race is very costly for DeKalb residents filling positions that are not paid.

The probate judge says the primary and general election will cost taxpayers there around $80,000. That's a lot of money to fill unpaid vacancies for about a year until the next election rolls around.

When a constable resigned and another moved to another county that prompted the new elections by the county commission.

Under a law proposed by former Senator Lowell Barron and passed by the voters, any county office vacancy with more than a year to go before the term expires must have a special election.

That is what has prompted the two special elections and the $80,000 price tag.

A bill just passed in the second special session would do away with the current law and allow the governor to appoint any vacancy to fill the unexpired term. But to go into effect that must be passed by the voters.

"They're going at it with the right process.  Let the people vote on it and let that be the decision of the people.  Of course my standpoint is I like doing elections that's what I get paid to do but it's an awful big expense for the people of DeKalb County and the DeKalb County Commission," says DeKalb County Probate Judge Ronnie Osborn.

Voters will have to approve the change and that will come in the general election in November 2016.

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