Council members to be sworn in, mayor selected

By Julie Fann

Four Elizabethton City Council members will be sworn in today at noon. The Honorable John Walton, Carter County Sessions Judge, will administer the oath of office in the council chambers at City Hall.
   Sitting council members Sam Shipley, Janie Smith McKinney, Pat "Red" Bowers, and Diane Morris won re-election Nov. 5. The Elizabethton City Charter requires all city council members, including those who win re-election, take the oath of office.
   Following the ceremony, the council will then elect a Mayor and a Mayor Protem to serve a two-year term. City Manager, Charles Stahl, would not say if it is a possibility that Mayor Sam LePorte will be elected to serve again.
   "It's really not my place to speculate on that," Stahl said. "The city charter requires that, from among its membership, council members elect a Mayor and a Mayor Protem in a public meeting."
   City Councilwoman, Diane Morris, overtook former city financial director, Sid Cox, by just three votes after voting totals compiled from a malfunctioning voting machine changed previously reported results.
   Voting results were temporarily delayed Nov. 5 when the Carter County Election Commission's cartridge tabulator that reads MicroVote voting machine cartridges blew a computer chip.
   "We had read four precincts and early voting totals when the chip went out," Tracy T. Harris, administrator of elections, told STAR reporter, Tom Wilson, following the election.
   Initial results had Cox edging incumbent Morris by 10 votes. Two voting machines at the T.A. Dugger and East Side precincts malfunctioned on Election Day.