KINGSPORT - Moments after being sworn in for a second term, Model City Mayor Dennis Phillips cast the deciding vote Tuesday night to select Alderman Ben Mallicote as Kingsport's vice mayor for the next two years.
Mallicote is entering the third year of a four-year term, his first on the Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
Phillips and Aldermen Ken Marsh and Larry Munsey were re-elected, and Jantry Shupe was elected alderman in May.
City elections are held every two years. The Kingsport BMA consists of a mayor and six aldermen. The mayor serves two years. Aldermen serve four years and are elected on a staggered basis - three each election.
Per the city's charter, in election years new BMA members are sworn in at the first meeting in July - and the entire BMA then designates a vice mayor.
According to Dave Light, assistant to the city manager:
After a swearing-in ceremony Tuesday for Phillips, Munsey and Shupe - Marsh, participating in Tuesday's meeting by telephone from the beach, chose not to be sworn in until he is physically present later this month - the floor was opened for nominations for vice mayor.
Alderman Pat Shull - also participating by telephone, from the 502 area code - nominated Marsh, who is entering his third four-year term on the BMA but has never served as vice mayor.
Mallicote then nominated himself.
Shupe followed with a nomination for Munsey, who has served as vice mayor for the past four years.
A roll-call vote was taken, and: Shull and Marsh voted for Marsh (2); Mallicote and Alderman Valerie Joh voted for Mallicote (2); and Shupe and Munsey voted for Munsey (2).
Phillips, as mayor, can cast a vote to break a tie. But a change of only one vote in the three-way split would still not produce the needed four-vote majority. Phillips asked each vice mayor nominee to say why they should get the slot.
Marsh noted his experience and financial background; Mallicote said he wants the opportunity to serve the citizenry; and Munsey stood on his record.
Another roll-call vote followed, and: Shull and Marsh voted for Marsh (2); Munsey voted for Munsey (1); and Shupe swung to join Mallicote and Joh in voting for Mallicote (3).
Phillips cast the fourth vote for Mallicote.
In other business Tuesday the BMA agreed to build a facility downtown near the proposed higher education center to house all of Northeast State Technical Community College's medical programs currently being offered in Elizabethton, Gray and Blountville.
NSTCC President Bill Locke said earlier this week that eight medical programs would be relocated to this new allied health facility - six currently being offered by NSTCC (nursing, cardiovascular technology, surgical technology, emergency medical technology, medical laboratory technology and dental laboratory technology) and two from elsewhere (King College's nursing program and the Tennessee Technology Center's LPN program).