Commission appeals judge’s ruling after July special election cancelled

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Although the special election scheduled for July 27 has been cancelled, the election commission decided to appeal the judge’s decision Friday night that shut down the ballot.

“The best interest of the people and the cost involved are supported in the long run by an appeal,” Davidson County Election Commission Chair Jim DeLanis said.

4 Good Government, a local group, collected signatures for a petition that was approved as a referendum by the commission. But it came with opposition from Metro Government that filed a lawsuit against it.

Chancellor Perkins ruled earlier this week that the ballot was unconstitutional, squashing the election.

“Last year we spent $200,000 supporting Metro and this year, taking a more independent course, we’ve spent $50,000 so far,” DeLanis said.

Litigation cost the commission, and taxpayers, thousands of dollars. So, the commission is leaving the final say up to the appellate court.

“I’m afraid if we don’t appeal, we’re just going to kick the can down the road,” DeLanis said.

But the approval of the appeal came with a 3-2 vote, where other commissioners were concerned about the decision to continue litigation.

“I think continuing to move forward at this point not only concerns me as a commissioner, but it concerns me as a citizen,” Commission Secretary Tricia Herzfeld said.

Mayor John Cooper said the action to appeal Perkins’ ruling was a “hardline, partisan decision in a Republican-dominated environment.”

4 Good Government attorney Jim Roberts hopes the court of appeals will bring a “prompt reversal” as he believes the chancellor was erred in multiple ways.

The commission has asked the appellate court for an expedited review.

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