Officials to be sworn in today; election certified

Sept. 4 oathsHamilton County* School Board District 1 -- Rhonda Thurman* School Board District 2 -- Jonathan Welch* School Board District 7 -- Donna Horn* School Board District 4 -- George Ricks* Assessor of Property -- Bill BennettSource: Hamilton County Election Commission

Arkansas-Tennessee Live Blog

Three Hamilton County officials -- General Sessions Judge Gary Starnes, County Mayor Jim Coppinger and District 3 Commissioner Marty Haynes -- will be sworn in this morning at the County Courthouse.

The Hamilton County Election Commission certified the Aug. 2 election Thursday, clearing the way for the formal swearing in of the three special election winners.

"We'll get back to work and stay focused on what we talked about while we were out campaigning," Coppinger said Thursday afternoon.

Unlike most county general election winners, who are sworn in Sept. 1 or later, special election winners can take their oaths immediately after results are certified, County Attorney Rheubin Taylor said earlier this month.

Each of the three newly elected officers will be serving the final two years of their terms and will run again in 2014.

Other Aug. 2 county general election winners, including four school board members and assessor of property, will take their oaths on Sept. 4 at 9 a.m. at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Coppinger, Starnes and Haynes also will have a ceremonial swearing in on that day.

This morning's ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. in the County Commission meeting room.

In addition to certifying the election, the Election Commission also heard residents' concerns about the Eastside precinct's relocation to the Tennessee Temple High School gym.

Resident Moses Freeman and City Councilman Andraé McGary, whose district covers the precinct, explained the problem.

"The polling place is outside the district in which we live," Freeman said.

McGary said it's across the street from the city district boundary. Some residents of Whiteside Faith Manor now have to travel more than two miles, Hamilton County Democratic Party Chairman Paul Smith said.

Though election commissioners and staff explained that they could do nothing about the recent redistricted lines that made moving polling places necessary, Mike Walden, commission chairman, asked for McGary to sit down with County Commissioner Warren Mackey to suggest a more central site for a possible polling place.