The post of mayor and aldermen in Woodland and Houlka are considered part-time posts and the amounts those city leaders are paid pale in comparison to the paychecks for similar posts in Okolona and Houston.
Paychecks for aldermen in Chickasaw County’s four municipalities vary based on population and tax base.
Aldermen, city marshal and mayors in all four communities are also allowed a budgeted travel and mileage expense that must be approved by the city.
Okolona pays its mayor and city marshal the best, but aldermen are paid less than cities of similar size. Okolona’s mayor is paid $32,000 a year or $2,666.67 a month. The city marshal of Okolona is paid $42,500 a year or $3,541.67 a year. Okolona aldermen are paid $300 a month or $3,600 a year. Okolona’s population was listed at 2,692 in the 2010 census.
Houston, with a 2010 population of 3,623, pays its mayor $27,500 annually or $2,291.67 a month. Houston’s city marshal is paid $38,522 a year or $3,210.17 a month. Aldermen are paid $600 a month or $7,200 annually.
Houlka pays its mayor $5,594 a year or $466.17 a month with aldermen making $175 a month or $2,100 a year. New Houlka’s population was 626 in the last census. The city police chief is appointed by the Board of Aldermen.
Woodland pays its mayor $125 a month or $1,500 a year. Woodland aldermen are paid $100 a month or $1,200 a year. City workers in Woodland are appointed by the Board of Aldermen.
Houston, Houlka, Okolona and Woodland each have municipal elections this spring.
Candidates who have qualified in Okolona, their position, political party, name and if they are an incumbent (i) are:
• Ward 1 Alderman – Democrat Kenneth McVey (i).
• Ward 2 Alderman – Democrat Bennett Moore (i).
• Ward 3 Alderman – Democrat Eldridge Lowe (i)
• Ward 4 Alderman – Democrat Imogene Armstrong (i).
• Ward 5 Alderman – Democrat Mary L. Gates, Democrat Robert Matt Hughes (i).
• Mayor – Democrat Louise F. Cole (i).
• City Marshal – Democrat Tommy James Ivy (i)
Candidates who have qualified in Houston, their position, political party, name and if they are an incumbent (i) are:
• District 1 Alderman – Republican Tony Uhiren (i).
• District 2 Alderman – Democrat Shenia K. Jones (i).
• District 3 Alderman – Republican Frank Thomas (i).
• District 4 Alderman – Democrat Willie Mae McKinney (i)
• Alderman at Large – Democrat Barry Springer (i), Democrat Amy Gardner.
• Mayor – Democrat Stacey W. Parker (i)
• City Marshal – Democrat Billy Voyles (i)
No candidate had qualified for Houlka aldermen or mayor as of Friday.
No candidate had qualified for Woodland aldermen or mayor as of Friday.
The qualifying deadline for municipal elections is 5 p.m. Friday, March 8, with all candidates required to file the appropriate paperwork at their respective city hall.
Candidates who declare a political party are required to pay a $10 application fee. Candidates who run as independents, do not pay a fee but must submit a petition with 50 signatures of qualified electors.
To qualify for municipal office, a candidate must be a registered voter of the municipality. Candidates may not have been convicted of a federal crime or certain Mississippi crimes defined as punishable by incarceration in a state penitentiary unless they have received a full pardon. They also may not be convicted of a crime in another state that is considered a felony under Mississippi law.
Candidates cannot have been legally declared mentally incompetent.
Municipal primary elections for differing political parties will be Tuesday, May 7, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at regular city polling precincts. Candidates must earn 50 percent of the vote, plus one vote, to be declared the winner of a primary election.
A runoff election among like political candidates – if needed – would be held May 21. The top candidates garnering 50 percent of the vote in the primary would face each other in the party runoff.
The general election – if needed — will be held June 4 and will pit party candidates for an overall winner to claim the post.
Primary and party elections have to be canvassed or certified by each respective party. The general election will be canvassed or certified by the board of aldermen of each municipality.