It turns out Joey Burnsed, the City of Pembroke’s current third district councilman, did not qualify to run for his seat again in the upcoming election. Come Nov., Anthony Greeson will win that seat by default.
City Clerk Betty Hill said the Bryan County Board of Registrar was the first to spot it.
"Joey put in his qualification, but his residence falls out of the district. He had moved and when he sent in his voter’s registration card, they caught it," Hill said.
Warren Miller, chief registrar, was out of the office Friday and could not be reached for comment.
But Burnsed thought he had remained in his district when he moved.
"When they drew the city map, they had it one block over. One street over put him out of the district," Hill said.
The re-districting map was done in 2002, and become official in 2003, Hill said. The City of Pembroke took that official map and made copies of it, which is where the district error occurred. When Burnsed planned to move, he said he used the city’s map as verification that he was moving into a home within his district.
If Burnsed hadn’t moved to precisely where he had, no one probably would have ever noticed the glitch.
"It’s highly unusual. We called the Ethics Division, to see what we could do about it, and they said we could probably get a judge to re-open the qualifying so that he could run again, but Joey didn’t want to do that," Hill said.
"It was just a mistake with the city map, I had to change my residence and according to the city map, I was still in my district. But I’m sure Mr. Greeson will do a good job; he seems to be a good guy," Burnsed said.
But – was Greeson excited to find out about the turn of events?
"Yeah, kinda-sorta," he said.
"I wanted to be able to get into the office on my own merits. I wanted the people to have a voice for who they wanted. That’s really what politics are all about."