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Boykins special election set for Feb. 9

BOYKINS

A special election to fill the late Dr. Carolyn Modlin’s mayoral term on Boykins’ Town Council is scheduled for Feb. 9.

The deadline to file with the Southampton County voter registrar’s office to appear on the ballot as a candidate is Dec. 11 by 5 p.m.

According to Southampton County Voter Registrar Lynn Burgess, only one candidate — Jackie Robertson — has filed as a candidate so far. Robertson currently serves as the town’s vice mayor.

The writ of election from Southampton County’s Circuit Court is dated Dec. 7, leaving a total of four days for candidates to get their paperwork in order. Members of Boykins’ Town Council learned of the election date and filing deadline during their monthly Town Council meeting on Dec. 8.

“It’s going to be a quick turnaround,” Burgess said.

The reason for the tight deadline, she explained, is that state election law requires candidates to file at least 60 days prior to the date of an election.

“It’s all about timeframe; that’s the criteria we have to go by,” Burgess said.

Modlin, 69, died Oct. 21, just five months into her first term as mayor. She had made history in May by becoming the first female mayor of Boykins. Modlin had also served on Southampton County’s School Board for several years, and at the time of her death, was still a sitting member. No election has been scheduled to replace Modlin in that capacity, since that body is not elected, but rather appointed by another body known as the School Board Selection Commission.

The Commission consists of three qualified voters who are themselves appointed by Southampton County’s Circuit Court judges. Under this method, the county’s Board of Supervisors may also request the judge of the Circuit Court to appoint one member of the School Board Selection Commission from each of the county’s seven election districts.

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In other town business on Dec. 8, Boykins’ Town Council voted unanimously to extend the deadline for town taxes to March 1.

“This year has been tough due to COVID-19, and so no late penalty will be charged after March 1st to ease any hardships COVID-19 may have caused our residents,” said Town Treasurer Victoria Edwards.

The town also announced that free, public wi-fi access is now available outside the town office on Virginia Avenue. Modlin had begun the project during her time as mayor as a way to help residents working from home during the pandemic and school-age children who may not have access to reliable internet to participate in virtual learning.

“Park out front of the town office to access the free wifi networks,” Edwards said.