The Guilford County Board of Commissioners took an action at the board’s Thursday, August 4 meeting that Guilford County Schools advocates were very happy to finally see.
The commissioners voted to officially certify the passage of the $1.7 billion school bond referendum that was on the ballot in May and was passed by voters.
The board would have certified the result sooner, but the school bond referendum saw an electoral and legal challenge from former Guilford County Commissioner Alan Branson.
Branson, who is the Republican At Large Board of Commissioners candidate, argued that the county and the school system illegally used taxpayer money to help pass the bond initiative – however, the county and state boards of election and a Superior Court judge didn’t see it Branson’s way.
At the August 4 meeting, the board voted for the county to issue the order authorizing $ 1.7 billion of bonds “secured by a pledge of the faith and credit of the County of Guilford to pay capital costs of providing school facilities, including the acquisition and construction of new school facilities, the improvement and expansion of existing school facilities and the acquisition and installation of furnishings and equipment and the acquisition of interests in real property required therefor, and a tax to be levied for the payment thereof.”
The Board of Commissioners certifies election results after the local and state election boards have done so. The official county certification stated that the number of yes voters for the school bond was 45,635 votes and the total number of voters who voted no was 29,577.
The court decision found that the schools and county may have acted improperly, however, it also found that those actions likely did not affect the outcome of the election.
The window is still open for further legal challenges: The board’s resolution authorizing the bond states, “Any action or proceeding challenging the regularity or validity of this bond referendum must be begun within 30 days after August 7, 2022, the date of publication hereof.”