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Mayor candidate qualifications being challenged

SALYERSVILLE – A voter registered in the city limits is asking the court to determine if a candidate for mayor is a qualified candidate in the race.

David Gardner told the Salyersville Independent he intends to challenge in the Magoffin County Circuit Court the bona fides – or the qualifications – of Stanley Howard as a candidate of the mayor of the City of Salyersville, also noting he intends to file this with the court as soon as possible.

“For many years I have heard people asking if Stanley lives in the city,” Gardner said. “They know where his house is, and the question is always being asked.”

In order for an official determination to be made as to whether a candidate is qualified to run for the office he or she is seeking, by law, someone in the city limits would need to file a bona fide challenge to the candidacy in circuit court.

“They will not make the decision unless someone asks, and I decided to ask,” Gardner explained.

In order to be a “bona fide” candidate for mayor, according to KRS 83A.040, a person must be a resident of the city for not less than one year prior to his or her election, must be a qualified voter in the city, and must reside in the city throughout his or her term of office.

According to the Secretary of State’s records, Stanley Howard filed to run as mayor using the address 143 Henry Arnett Br., Salyersville, KY.

Gardner was able to pull Salyersville City Council minutes from June 25, 1987, which discussed the annexation of Coal Branch into the city limits, adopting everything from within 500 feet of Coal Branch, not including any of the smaller roads that branch off of Coal Branch.

“I worked with the Area Development District to update the geographic systems with the Secretary of State, which contracted with the Area Development Districts and took all the info they had to put in geographic layers and create corporate boundaries,” Gardner said. “I did that work for the Big Sandy Area Development District and the maps used now essentially reflect the work I did in 2000.”

When plugging the address Howard used at the time he filed for office into the map, his home is roughly more than 800 feet from Coal Branch and maps showing the city limits clearly do not include the house at that address, indicating there is evidence that he may not qualify as an eligible voter in the city, nor as a candidate for a city race.

KRS 91A.0806 further lays out the verification of risk location systems and programs, basically outlining that for the purpose of insurance taxing the state uses these same maps to determine whether someone must pay insurance taxes within certain jurisdictions. According to the Secretary of State maps, Stanley Howard’s address provided on the candidate filing forms does not fall within the City of Salyersville’s taxing district.

“Honestly, I’m just aggravated,” Gardner said. “It seems there are some folks on Facebook who want to present dealings with my landscaping company and me individually with my role with the city water system, implying I am doing something wrong and I’m profiting from that relationship, like I’m getting rich off the city. They’re using that to attack Pete [Shepherd] and that bothers me that they’re using me to go after my friend.”

Gardner was referencing a Facebook page, with the name “Justin Williams,” though it has been confirmed it is not managed by Justin Williams, pastor of the Lakeville Baptist Church and girls’ basketball coach. Numerous posts have been made under “Mr. Facts,” as it is described in the “about me” portion of the profile, alleging illegal and/or unethical actions by Mayor James “Pete” Shepherd, David Gardner and even Mortimer Media Group, the parent company to this newspaper, though none of the allegations could be substantiated by the SI at press time.

“I’m not suing Stanley and I’m not trying to make the determination, myself,” Gardner explained. “I’m alleging certain things using the evidence at hand, but I’m asking the circuit court to determine whether or not Stanley Howard is a bona fide candidate for the mayor of the City of Salyersville.”

The SI will continue to follow this story closely and will report online and in the newspaper any updates in the case. There are no known deadline requirements for a case such as this to be filed.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Bubby Carpenter

    November 3, 2022 at 10:05 pm

    Why has David Garnder fixed the sewer on my property I know it’s not the sewer pump and it’s been checked out by the workers. They also have had a work order on it for over 6 months . He’s supposed to be the commissioner but he’s not seeing if the the other workers are doing there job . But I can say as soon as I see Mr Garnder I will personally ask him . I . Also have ask the Mayor the same thing . Why isn’t it been fixed

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