Eddie Pless seeks seat on City BOE

Published 3:05 pm Thursday, August 16, 2018

The field of candidates is set for the November city elections, and one race anticipated to garner a lot of attention will be for seats on the Board of Education as a former school system employee dismissed earlier this year is challenging the incumbents for a spot on the Board.

Thursday at noon marked the deadline for candidates to qualify for the November 6 city elections for Elizabethton and Watauga.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Among those candidates qualifying to run for seats on the Elizabethton Board of Education is Eddie Pless, whose more than 30 years of service with the school system ended earlier this year after he was relieved of his duties by the school system. Pless was serving as Athletic Director at Elizabethton High School at the time of his termination. At the time of the dismissal, Elizabethton City Schools officials said the employment decisions were made based on information available to them from an internal investigation by the school system.

Pless is one of four candidates who qualified seeking one of two seats up for grabs on the Elizabethton Board of Education. The other qualifying candidates are incumbent Susan Peters, incumbent Tyler Fleming, and Danny O’Quinn, who serves as the vice president of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Elizabethton.

The winners of those two seats will join Board of Education members Rita Booher, Phil Isaacs, and Dr. Grover May.

On the Elizabethton City Council side of the ballot, six candidates qualified to vie for four seats on the council that are up for election.

Incumbents Bill Carter, Wes Frazier, Sam Shipley, and Richard Tester are all up for re-election in November. Challenging them on the ticket will be Richard Barker and Michael Simerly.

The winners of those four seats will join Council members Curt Alexander, Kim Birchfield, and Jeff Treadway.

In the City of Watauga, two candidates qualified seeking two seats on the City Commission that are up for grabs.

Delisa Lafleur and Mickey Fair are both up for re-election to their positions on the Commission and both qualified as candidates. No other candidates filed paperwork seeking election to the Watauga City Commission.

All of the city elections appearing on the Nov. 6 ballot are “at large” seats, according to Carter County Administrator of Elections Tracy Harris, meaning the candidates run city-wide instead of by divided districts like the Carter County Commission is selected.

Also appearing on the November ballot will be one unexpired term on the Carter County Board of Education. The vacancy on the county school board was created by the resignation of Rusty Barnett after he was elected to serve as Carter County Mayor during the August General Election. Barnett’s departure from the County Board of Education will be effective August 31.

Because of the time frame involved regarding the vacancy, officials with the Tennessee Division of Elections said the qualifying deadline for residents seeking election to fulfill the remainder of Barnett’s term would have until noon on Sept. 12 to file their paperwork with the Carter County Election Commission. Barnett represents the county’s 4th District on the BOE, and his term is set to expire in 2020.

Candidates seeking election to fulfill Barnett’s unexpired term must live within the county’s 4th District, which includes the Courthouse, East Side, National Guard Armory, and Siam Precincts.