How Local and State Laws Shape Politics in Williamson County

The Constitution of Tennessee provides for the election of an executive officer, known as the mayor, in each county. The general provisions of this include that any debt incurred must be paid, any assets remaining after the payment of the debts must be transferred to Williamson County, and the district organization must be maintained until all debts are paid and the remaining assets are transferred. The legality or operation of the board is also established. The Board of Directors serves staggered four-year terms that expire on June 1 of even-numbered years. The district can be further subdivided as determined by the board, and after a division, the original district and any new district created must have at least 100 acres.

The terms of the division must include a plan for payment or compliance with any outstanding district obligations, and a description of the boundaries of each district, including the original modified district. Section 42.042 of the Local Government Code and Section 54.016 of the Water Code do not apply to the creation of a new district by division. The proposal that will be voted on must receive a majority of votes cast in order for the district to be divided. If the board orders the division without election, then the district is divided as of the date of the order. No later than 90 days after the date of division, five directors must be appointed for each new district. The person designated is not required to own land or reside in the district for which they have been appointed.

The directors of the original district serve their terms for which they were elected before the division, while directors appointed under subsection (b) serve until June 1 after the election of directors under subsection (d).On the date of uniform election in May of even-numbered years, an election will be held to elect five directors in each district for which directors were appointed under subsection (b). Of these five directors, three will serve their terms that expire on June 1 after the second regularly scheduled director election under subsection (e), while two will serve their terms that expire on June 1 after the first regularly scheduled director election under subsection (e). Directors serve staggered four-year terms. If a district is divided as provided in this subchapter, then current obligations and any district bond authorizations are not affected. Debts will be paid with revenues or with taxes or fees imposed on the district's real estate, as if it had not been divided, or through contributions from each new district as established in terms established by the board in division plan.

Any other district obligations shall be divided proportionately between new districts and original district according to area or other conditions satisfactory to new districts. State legislators recently took action to consolidate partisanship in Tennessee school board elections during a special legislative session in October when a new law was passed that allowed political parties in county to opt for partisan school board elections. Williamson County Election Commission Chairman Robert Brown said commission hasn't yet collected or reviewed requests but expected local political parties to take action. The Williamson County Property Assessor is a constitutionally elected official from Tennessee who serves citizens of Williamson County for four-year term. Until then, Tennessee's school and city board elections were non-partisan while other local elections such as county commission allowed political party primary elections to be held. The Williamson County Trustee's Office collects property taxes from Williamson County, 9th Franklin Special School District, and cities of Brentwood, Franklin, Nolensville and Thompson's Station. The Williamson County Democratic Party released statement on Friday announcing submission of request to county election commission. The president of Williamson County Republican Party Cheryl Brown confirmed group's formal request and said decision was unanimously approved by her board of directors. According to statement from Williamson County Democratic Party, group's move came in response to Republicans' request.

The Williamson County Board of Commissioners is also known as County Commission and is county's main policy-making body. The District is a municipal public service district in Williamson County created under and essential to fulfill purposes of Section 59 of Article XVI of Texas Constitution.

Janis Veino
Janis Veino

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