Cherokee Ridge residents who want to be the first mayor or one of the first council members can begin qualifying Tuesday, July 6.

Those interested must qualify at the Marshall County Probate Office in the Marshall County Courthouse in Guntersville, according to Probate Judge Andrea LeCroy.

Cherokee Ridge residents voted overwhelmingly (89.1 percent) in May to become incorporated.

The new town will elect a mayor and five council members on Tuesday, Aug. 24, LeCroy said.

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. in the Cherokee Ridge Clubhouse.

The town has about 350 residents.

Cherokee Ridge is located about six miles north of Arab. It was built in the early 1990s as an upscale gated, golfing community by the late Sid McDonald, a longtime Arab businessman.

LeCroy received a petition earlier this year signed by 120 Cherokee Ridge residents requesting the special election.

Some information for the Aug. 24 election includes:

• The mayor’s seat and all five council seats are at-large positions, though candidates must declare which council seat they are seeking – 1 through 5.

• If necessary, a run-off election is set for Oct. 5.

• No one can run for more than one office.

• No name on the ballot can be preceded by a title unless it is necessary to “distinguish between two or more candidates with the same or similar names.”

• Write-in voting is not allowed.

• Candidates may not accept, solicit or receive campaign contributions more than 12 months before an election.

• Candidates must be a registered voter and must have lived in Cherokee Ridge for 90 days prior to the election.

• Those elected must live in Cherokee Ridge during the entire term of office.

• Qualifying ends at 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 20.

• A candidate may withdraw from the election by giving written notice any time prior to the election.

• State law requires all candidates to file a statement of economic interest with the Alabama Ethics Commission. A copy of that statement must be filed with the probate judge in order to get a name on the ballot.

• To vote in the election, residents must be a registered voter and must have lived in Cherokee Ridge for 30 days prior to the election.

• Residents who want to register to vote must do so at least 15 days prior to the election.

• Requests for absentee ballots must be made to the Marshall County Circuit Clerk’s Office no later than 5 days prior to the election, with the exception of emergency absentee ballots.

For more information: Marshall County Probate Office, 256-571-7764; Marshall County Circuit Clerk’s Office, 256-571-7785.

Benefits

After the election to incorporate, CR resident and Realtor Wayne Martin said incorporation will open a lot of doors for Cherokee Ridge.

“I would expect property values to continue to increase here at a faster pace now that we are a city,” he said. “Becoming a municipality will not only allow Cherokee Ridge to have a voice in its future growth, it will create opportunities for federal and state funding on infrastructure.”

Dusty McGee, vice president of the Property Owner’s Association board, said Huntsville’s growth is dramatically increasing the interest in Cherokee Ridge.

“There are more houses being planned and built at Cherokee Ridge right now than at any time in the history of the development,” he said. “We expect the population of the city to double over the next eight years.”

He also expressed his appreciation for Michael Dilworth and Dilworth Development, the company that is building houses in Cherokee Ridge.

“Michael has been a great partner for the residents of Cherokee Ridge, and he cares as much about the future of our community as we do,” McGee said. “We are grateful for what he and his partners are doing to help us grow in a planned and thoughtful way.”

The golf course and club at Cherokee Ridge will also benefit from incorporation.

“The residents’ decision to form a city will make Cherokee Ridge a golf destination,” said Jimmy Green, owner of Cherokee Ridge Golf Club. “Over the past three years we have made serious capital improvements to the course, and that will continue. We are going to restore this golf course to the PGA quality property that it was when it was built, and we are going to make it better.”

Jane McDonald, widow of the late Sid McDonald, said his dream in the last years of his life was to see Cherokee Ridge become a city.

“Sid always believed in the future of this community and wanted to see it prosper,” she said. “The formation of Alabama’s newest municipality at Cherokee Ridge is the fulfillment of his longstanding vision.”

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