The Weakley County Commission unanimously adopted rules to regulate the procedures of the board of county commissioners at its meeting Monday night.
One of the changes to the rules included the addition of commission members’ comments on a regular agenda. This would allow board members an opportunity to voice their opinions and those of their constituents during a regular session.
As the floor was opened for discussion, District 1 Weakley County commissioner Andy Holt took his opportunity for comment and used it as an attempt to resign from his seat on the board of commissioners. In that same action, he suggested a replacement — Bobby Dunlap.
The District 1 commissioner announced his resignation was contingent upon the board accepting Dunlap as his replacement.
Holt also serves as the state representative for Weakley and Carroll counties.
Weakley County Commission chairman Jimmy Westbrook swiftly met his resignation attempt with an “out of order” response.
“You cannot resign based on a future event,” Westbrook said.
The attempted resignation was turned down, however, because it failed to meet order and protocol laid out in the rules. According to Resolution 2012-06 (7B), otherwise known as the rules governing the county, the notice of a vacancy must be provided to the county clerk seven days prior to the board’s meeting so the clerk can provide notice to the members of the board regarding a vacancy.
That same notice of vacancy must also be made public in a newspaper of general circulation at least seven days prior to the next meeting of the board.
After such notice is given to the public, voters are allowed to submit names to the commission for consideration.
Ultimately, a nomination must be made from a commissioner. In this instance, the second District 1 Weakley County commissioner, John Salmon, would be asked to nominate a replacement for Holt in the event of his vacancy from the board.
Holt, if resigned from the board, would not be allowed to name his replacement, according to the county rules.
In an interview after the commission meeting, Holt confirmed he intended to relinquish his county commission seat contingent on Dunlap being named his replacement.
“Rules are in place that say as a commissioner vacates a seat, the remaining commissioner must make a recommendation,” Holt said.
Holt and Salmon represent District 1, covering Latham, Palmersville and Cottage Grove. According to Holt, he and Salmon cannot come to a decision on a potential replacement.
When Holt ran for the seat, he was a candidate on the Republican ticket.
Salmon was a Democratic candidate.
Two commissioners represent each district in the county. During the 2010 election, incumbent Democrat David Rook vied to retain his seat in District 1 along with Salmon. Voters elected Holt and Salmon to the commission posts.