No vote on residency issue for candidate
by Daniel Gaddy
Jul 21, 2012 | 1881 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Jasper City Council chose not to vote on whether Jasper mayoral candidate Donnie Naramore’s residency disqualifies him from running, which leaves him on the ballot.

Naramore owns a home on Brakefield Dairy Road, which he listed as his residence on his application for candidacy. Though surrounded on all sides by property annexed by the City of Jasper, the residence is an unincorporated plot.

Naramore addressed the council during a called meeting Friday, and said he feels that he is a valid candidate because the Brakefield Dairy Road home is surrounded by Jasper properties — making his home inside the city limits.

City Attorney Russ Robertson said that under the law, Naramore’s residence is not considered in the city limits.

“It’s an unincorporated island,” Robertson said.

As an example, Robertson said Naramore does not pay property taxes to the city and is not regulated under Jasper’s zoning ordinances.

Naramore said that he spoke with Jasper City Clerk Kathy Chambless several weeks before the city’s deadline to qualify for the municipal election, and she assured him his residence would not affect his qualification.

Chambless told the council that when she had the conversation with Naramore, she thought he was asking about the Walker County Board of Registrars listing him as a county voter when he wasn’t. She told him that he could contact the board and get them to correct the address in such a case.

“I never understood that he lived in an area of the city limits that was not properly annexed,” she said.

Regardless to which municipality his home on Brakefield Dairy road belongs, Naramore said he owns a residence off Highway 195 that is well within the Jasper City limits.

Several council members asked Naramore which home he considers his primary residence. Naramore said he spends an equal amount of time at each property and would not choose one as his predominant home.

Robertson said Alabama law requires a candidate to point to one residence as his domocile.

Council member Gary Cowen said the council met only to discuss whether Naramore’s residence disqualified him as a candidate. Cowen said the issue of the second residence is outside of the council’s authority, and he motioned to not vote on the matter. The other council members agreed.

Council Member Johnny Rollins, who is also running for mayor, said he wanted to not only abstain from the vote but to abstain from any discussion about whether to vote or not.

Rollins said after the meeting that he welcomes Naramore to the race.

Mayor Sonny Posey, who is running for re-election, said that if Naramore qualifies by state law as a candidate, he too welcomes Naramore into the race.

Robertson said Naramore will remain on the ballot since the council took no action over the matter.