Tonya Moore

Catoosa County Elections Director Tonya Moore discusses qualifying fees for the 2018 elections during the Dec. 19 Board of Commissioner's meeting. (Catoosa News photo/Adam Cook)

Catoosa County recently approved its qualifying fees for the 2018 election cycle, setting up the required costs to run for six positions that will be up for grabs.

Catoosa County Elections Director Tonya Moore disclosed the fees during the Dec. 19 Board of Commissioner's meeting for the offices of Board of Commissioners (Districts 2 and 4), Board of Education (Districts 2 and 4), State Court Judge, and State Court Solicitor.

"The qualifying fee is three-percent of the total gross salary of the office paid in the preceding calendar year, including all supplements authorized by law in the salaried office," Moore explained. "The set qualifying fees for Board of Commissioners districts 2 and 4 is $240, State Court Judge $3,409.16, State Court Solicitor $2,897.78, and Board of Education $90."

Qualifying dates are March 5-9 beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday, March 5, and ending at noon on Friday, March 9.

"Partisan offices will qualify with their local parties, non-partisan offices will qualify with the elections superintendent at the Freedom Center," Moore said. "Just for your information, election dates for 2018 are May 22 for the general primary, July 24 is the general primary runoff, and Nov. 6 is the general."

The board unanimously approved the fees during the meeting, but had to approve the fees a second time on Tuesday evening, Jan. 2, due to an issue regarding the advertisement of said fees.

Recently, Catoosa County Sheriff Gary Sisk, Clerk of Court Tracey Brown, and Probate Judge Jeff Hullender voted to transfer the county's legal organ status from The Catoosa County News to the Chattanooga Times Free Press in Tenn., However, on Dec. 27, a judge granted an injunction ruling that the legal organ status will remain with The Catoosa County News.

County Attorney Skip Patty informed the board of this decision Tuesday night, which made it necessary to approve the fees again for advertisement purposes.

"At the last meeting, in conjunction with the resolution, we provided that the advertisement was to be published in the Chattanooga Times Free Press," Patty said. "At that time, the clerk, Probate Judge, and sheriff had selected the Chattanooga Times Free Press as the legal organ of Catoosa County. We had a hearing on Dec. 20 and Judge Grubbs, a senior judge, enjoined the county from changing the legal organ from The Catoosa County News to the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Because of that, it's necessary that we go back revisit our resolution and provide that it will be published in The Catoosa County News rather than the Chattanooga Times Free Press. That's the only difference in the resolutions."

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He has been a reporter since 2009. He can be reached at The Catoosa County News office at 706-935-2621 and by email at acook@npco.com.