South Charlotte

South Mecklenburg towns set filing fees for elections

The general election is still seven months away, but elected boards across southern Mecklenburg County are setting filing fees for mayor, commissioner, school board and other elected positions.

“Each municipality is required by state law to set a filing fee before the candidate filing period opens, no less than $5 per seat and no more than 1 percent of the salary that the elected position pays,” said Michael Dickerson, Mecklenburg County Board of Elections Director.

Candidate filing for the fall election begins July 6 at 8 a.m. and closes at noon on July 17.

The Pineville Town Council recently voted to keep the same filing fees as the 2013 election: $5 for council race and $6 for the mayoral race.

This fall, there will be four council seats and the mayoral seat up for grabs. But last month the town council voted to change their terms of service, so the two highest vote getters in the November council race will serve four-year terms.

The other two seats will be up for re-election in 2017. From then on, the council terms will be staggered with two four-year seats up for election every two years. The mayor’s term remains at two years.

The Matthews Board of Commissioners voted to keep their same filing fees as well: $10 for the commissioners race and $15 for the mayoral race. This fall, all six council seats and the mayor’s seat will be up for election.

Matthews is the only town in the county that could possibly have a primary election in October. The primary would happen only if more than double the number of candidates for available seats – 3 or more candidates for mayor, or 13 or more candidates for commissioner – file to run.

In an effort to cut down on what they see as frivolous filings, the Mint Hill Board of Commissioners recently voted to raise their filing fees to $25 for commissioner and $50 for mayor.

“We felt like a lot of people threw $5 in there and didn’t have a chance of winning. They didn’t buy signs; they didn’t talk to the media or do anything else they were asked to do. They may have gotten a couple votes, but it takes away from those that are serious about running,” Mint Hill Commissioner Richard Newton said.

“I’m hoping this will help them think twice before filing. I want them to file if they are serious, but not if they just want to have their name out there.”

Mint Hill voters will elect a mayor and four commissioners this fall.

Election day is November 3. For more information about filing to run, registering to vote or any other election related question, visit www.meckboe.org.

Melinda Johnston is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Melinda? Email her at m.johnston@carolina.rr.com.

Learn more:

▪ Pineville: The mayor receives $15,000 each year, mayor pro tem receives $9,300 and other council members receive $9,000.

▪ Matthews: The mayor receives $15,75,0 and commissioners receive $3,600.

▪ Mint Hill: The mayor receives $10,000, and commissioners receive $5,000.

Matthews and Mint Hill also budget additional money for technology allowances for each elected position.

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