published Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Skillern resigns, commission still deadlocked on county mayor


by Dan Whisenhunt
  • photo
    The Hamilton County Commission meeting is packed as the County Commissioners meet to elect either Jim Coppinger or Mike Carter into the position of mayor Wednesday morning.
    Staff Photo by Jake Daniels

Hamilton County Commission Chairman Fred Skillern has resigned as chairman after another split vote over who should be Hamilton County’s next mayor.

The move makes Commissioner Jim Coppinger, who is vice chairman, the chairman and subsequently the mayor when Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey steps down Tuesday to join the administration of Gov.-elect Bill Haslam.

Commissioners will meet to vote again on Monday at 9:30 a.m.

By law, however, the commission must vote by April 9 for a mayor to serve until the next general election in August 2012. At that point, voters will select a new mayor.

Coppinger, 55, and special assistant to the mayor Mike Carter were vying for the county’s top job.

Hamilton County commissioners deadlocked on their first vote on a new county mayor, with each candidate garnering the same support they had when they first voted Dec. 27: Commissioners Fred Skillern, Jim Fields, Joe Graham and Larry Henry voting for Jim Coppinger, and Warren Mackey, Greg Beck, Chester Bankston and Tim Boyd voting for Mike Carter.

Commissioners will meet to vote again on Jan. 10 at 9:30 a.m. Ramsey resigns on Jan. 11.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Read the live coverage from the event here:

about Dan Whisenhunt...

Dan Whisenhunt covers Hamilton County government for the Times Free Press. A native of Mobile, Ala., Dan earned a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Alabama. He won first place for best in-depth news coverage in the 2010 Alabama Press Association contest; the FOI-First Amendment Award in the 2007 Alabama Press Association contest; first place for best public service story in the Alabama AP Managing Editors contest in 2009 for economic coverage; and ...

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