The Guilford County Republican Party Executive Committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, Aug. 30 to select a new District 3 Guilford County Board of Education member.
According to the state law passed by the North Carolina legislature on August 17, the District 3 Board of Education seat is once again vacant and the person selected by the Guilford County Republican Party Executive Committee will be sworn in at the next meeting of the Guilford County Board of Education, which is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 19.
The law states, “If the county political party executive committee recommends an individual in accordance with this subdivision, that individual shall take the oath of office at the next regular meeting of the Board.”
The requirements in the law are that the individual selected by the GOP Executive Committee be a qualified voter who resides in District 3.
The new law removes any input from the Guilford County Board of Education in selecting or seating the replacement, unless the GOP executive committee fails to select a qualified individual to fill the seat within 30 days of the vacancy.
In this case the vacancy occurred on Aug. 17, when the state law went into effect, because another section of that law states, “The term of office of any individual appointed by the Guilford County Board of Education to fill a vacancy occurring between December 1, 2022, and the effective date of this act shall expire on the effective date of this act.”
That portion of the bill ended the term of Bill Goebel, who was elected by the Guilford County Board of Education to fill the vacant seat created when former District 3 Guilford County Board of Education member Pat Tillman was elected as the District 3 Guilford County commissioner in November 2022 and resigned his seat on the school board.
After Tillman’s resignation, the Executive Committee of the Guilford County GOP selected Michael Logan to fill the vacant seat. But according to the law at that time, the Guilford County Board of Education had to vote to accept that nomination and the Guilford County school board repeatedly voted along party lines to refuse to accept Logan.
This is the second attempt by the state legislature to clear up the problems in seating a new member to represent District 3. In the first attempt, the Guilford County Board of Education determined that the Guilford County Republican Party Executive Committee had not properly voted to select a new District 3 school board member in 30 days in accordance with the law.
That interpretation resulted in the school board rejecting Logan, who had been selected by the Guilford County GOP, and appointing its own choice to fill the seat, Goebel, and Goebel was therefore the District 3 school board member until removed by the new state statute on Aug. 17.
So the vote this week by the Guilford County Republican Party Executive Committee to select a replacement for Goebel should be the penultimate step in appointing a new District 3 school board member. However, all bets are off until the Tuesday, Sept. 19 meeting when that nominee should be sworn into office, unless the current school board can find a way around the new law.