The Guilford County Board of Commissioners doesn’t run Guilford County Schools, but the board does provide the school system with a tremendous amount of money each year – so the commissioners typically keep a close eye on how the school board is operating.

Given that, it’s no surprise that some commissioners have very strong feelings about the way in which the six Democrats on the nine-member school board recently went against the will of the Guilford County Republican Party and against the intent of state law and placed Bill Goebel in the District 3 seat rather than teacher Michael Logan – who was selected by the local Republican Party to fill the seat.

The sudden move by the school board at a meeting on Tuesday, April 4, stunned everyone and greatly displeased many Republicans – including District 3 Guilford County Commissioner Pat Tillman, who’s the man who held the District 3 school board seat until he was elected that district’s county commissioner in late 2022.

After the stunning appointment last week, Tillman told the Rhino Times that it was a “crazy dysfunctional move” by the Board of Education.

In February, after the school board had voted several times to keep Logan off the board, Tillman said, “It’s unfortunate that a group on the Board of Education is putting politics and personality ahead of the interests of the people of District 3,” and he added that that had led to tens of thousands of people having no representation on the board for months.

Tillman also said then: “It’s not right. The local political party is to pick their nominee. That’s who should fill the vacancy. Then that person will have to run for reelection.”

Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston, a Democrat, disagrees. He said Guilford County Schools Attorney Jill Wilson had obviously found a way the law could be interpreted to give the school board a legal right to seat who they saw fit.

Alston said that, just as Guilford County has an attorney that the commissioners look to for guidance, the school board does the same.

“I would never question their attorney,” Alston said.

Commissioner Alan Perdue, a Republican, was greatly displeased by the school board’s move.

“It just seems to go contrary to the intent of the law,” Perdue said. “Our responsibility is to follow the law and follow the intent of the law, and that just seems to circumvent everything that was supposed to be done. No matter who it is or what party it is, we have a responsibility to follow the law.”