Nine qualify for Calera council race

Published 11:48 am Friday, September 25, 2009

Voters Nov. 10 will get a chance to cast votes for nine at-large candidates vying for six spots on the Calera City Council.

Five current council members will join four new council candidates on the ballot as voters return to the polls for the second time in little more than a year.

Current District 1 Councilman Jerry Davis, District 2 Councilman Ernest Montgomery, District 3 Councilman Bobby Joe Phillips, District 4 Councilman David Bradshaw and District 5 Councilman Mike Roberson all qualified for the Nov. 10 election.

Calera residents Chris Bunn, Ed Gentry, Eric Snyder and Alan Watts also qualified for the council race.

Though the City Council now is compromised of representatives from five Calera districts, the city will function under six at-large council members after the upcoming election.

City officials Sept. 9 agreed to send a notice to the U.S. Department of Justice requesting to hold the new council election Nov. 10. The Justice Department approved the request Sept. 25.

The Department of Justice in Oct. 2008 threw out the city’s Aug. 2008 election results after it claimed Calera’s redistricting plan eliminated the city’s only black voting district.

Even though mayor-elect Jon Graham and newly elected members of the City Council were certified after the 2008 election, the department’s ruling prevented them from being sworn in. Current Mayor George Roy and the incumbent City Council have remained in office since the decision.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Calera Community Center on Highway 31. If necessary, a runoff election will be held Dec. 22.