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New Year brings numerous

elections to county

By BRIAN BLACKLEY

Managing Editor

The New Year may mark the beginning of a new millennium, but it also marks a year in which Pike County residents will see a number of elections on their voting ballots.

Beginning in March, the first of several elections will be held, said Pike County Probate Judge William Stone.

"Although many people don’t realize it, March 21 marks the first election this year," Stone said. "That’s when state residents will vote on an amendment to the state’s constitution to resolve the franchise tax dilemma."

The ballot, as it stands now, will feature one question, asking voters whether or not they approve of a new measure to generate money to replace the state’s long-standing franchise tax that puts an additional tax burden on out-of-state owned businesses.

The amendment proposes to increase the state corporate income tax from five percent to 6.5 percent, Stone said.

"If approved, this tax would take effect in the 2001 calendar year," Stone said. "That is the only issue we have been notified that would be on the ballot by the Alabama Secretary of State’s office. As of now, no other questions or issues have been certified."

The election will be held March 21.

Following on the heels of that election is a June primary election for county, state and national offices. The national highlight will be the presidential primary. Additionally, the following offices that represent all or parts of Pike County will qualify for the election, with the incumbents listed in some cases:

· Second U.S. Congressional District – Terry Everett, R-Enterprise

· Alabama State Supreme Court Justices, places 1-4

· Alabama State Supreme Court Chief Justice – Perry Hooper Sr, R.

· Alabama Public Service Commission President – Jim Sullivan, R.

· Alabama State Board of Education, District 5 – Willie Paul, D.

· Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, Places 1-2

· Alabama Court of Civil Appeals, Places 1-3

· Pike County Circuit Judge, Place 1 – Thomas Head

· Pike County District Judge – William Hightower

· Pike County Probate Judge – William Stone

· Pike County Circuit Clerk – Brenda Meadows Peacock

· Pike County Commission, Places 1-6 – 1, Willie Thomas; 2, Larry Meeks; 3, Larry Penn; 4, R.A. Goodson; 5, Charlie Harris; 6, Karen Berry

· Pike County School Board, Districts 5 and 6 – 5, Willo D. Baker; 6, Royce Stroud

· Pike County Constables, Precincts 1, 2 and 10 – 1, Julius Jiles; 2, Ronnie Gregory; 3, Joe L. Green.

The political parties will set the deadlines for qualifications, Stone said, and interested parties are encouraged to call the party chairmen to qualify for the ballot.

Stone also encouraged people to register to vote as soon as possible to ensure that their voices will count on election day.

"This is an ideal time to register to vote," he said. "People with any questions or concerns about where to vote can contact the Voter Registration Department of the county at 566-1757."

The Democratic Party chairman for Pike County is Bill Thompson III, and the Republican Party leader for the county is Lawrence Bowden.

Bowden may be reached at 735-3898, and Thompson may be contacted at 566-3798.

Following on the heels of the national, state and county primary will be an open election for municipalities. Goshen, Brundidge and Troy will all go to the polls to elect their city councils and mayors in August. The event is a general election with no party affiliations being declared on the ballot.

All three municipalities will elect five council people and a mayor to serve them for the next four years.

The deadline for municipal election qualifications is July 18, with qualifications beginning on July 5.