On Wednesday, July 20, the written order from Superior Court Judge Norlan Graves – as expected – denied a motion brought by former Guilford County Commissioner Alan Branson to stay the certification of Guilford County’s $1.7 billion school bond referendum.
However, the judge’s order also stated that Guilford County and Guilford County Schools may have acted improperly in the effort to lead voters to support the giant bond.
Branson’s complaint, which went first to the Guilford County Board of Elections, then the NC State Board of Elections and then superior court, argued that Guilford County and the school system illegally used taxpayer dollars to promote passage of the referendum – largely by providing glowing descriptions of the good the bond will do without really addressing the costs.
Judge Graves decided against Branson’s effort to halt the certification of the vote on the bond, but found “that the activities of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners and the Guilford County Schools may have improperly caused voters to vote in favor of the bond at issue.”
Graves did not, however, believe that those improprieties changed the outcome of the election – which was a key factor in the decision.
Guilford County Board of Elections officials said recently that, in decisions of this type, the essential matter that determines cases is whether the outcome of the election would have been changed. In May, the school bonds passed with 61 percent of the vote to 39 percent votes against.
Branson said after the written order was released that he and his legal team had been “fighting the good fight for the taxpayers of Guilford County,”
He said the fact that the judge indicated the schools and county may have acted improperly demonstrates exactly why he filed this protest.
“I fully believe wrongdoing occurred here,” Branson said, adding, “I pray that this protest has brought attention to the issue and serves as a warning to local governments that their citizens are paying attention.”
Branson said that, while he was unable to stop the certification of this bond referendum, in the future he expects Guilford County and other local governments to be less likely to break the law by using taxpayer money to promote various bond issues.
How does the judge determine if the violation was material? Is that outlined in the ruling?
That’s like saying that if you shoplifted, that it was OK because you needed what you took.
“Branson said that, while he was unable to stop the certification of this bond referendum, in the future he expects Guilford County and other local governments to be less likely to break the law by using taxpayer money to promote various bond issues.”
DON’T BET ON IT! No penalty, so they’ll continue to do as they please.
Thank you for reporting news honestly
“May have acted improperly” the judge said. As most of us believe there is not a “may” to it. Alan is nice, saying he hopes this will alert the elected officials that the citizens will be watching and this should not happen in the future. My friend Alan knows the only way this will stop is to vote people into office such as himself with integrity who will protect our tax dollar. My friends, as Barack Obama is said to have stated “elections have consequences”. Consequences like wasted tax dollars, higher taxes, higher prices at the gas pump, in your home and food expenses, feeling safe in your home and streets. We are experiencing poor decisions made at the ballot box by casting the wrong vote or not voting at all. Voter remorse can last for four years. Please get out and vote. Failure to do so will cause you to suffer further consequences. Start with this city election. You have good candidates running like Katie Rossabi, Tony Wilkins and mayoral write-in candidate Chris Meadows., Can you afford to do nothing?
So King Skippy and the school system broke the law. What is their punishment? Nothing! These leaders will continue to do as they please until someone somewhere and sometime squashes them like a bug and holds them accountable. The question is who? Not anyone associated with the Democratic party.
This decision did nothing to stop future Democrat actions. In fact, it gave them a license to bore full steam ahead!
Same old Greensboro and Guilford County and school system.
Although you didn’t win, I have to retract my previous statement of tilting at windmills and give lots of credit for at least getting court to say ‘yes there was something to your argument’. Skippy and his hordes can’t hide from it.
Way to go.
61% means what number?
How many people actually voted in May?
Where does the tax and spend crap end? Take your country back from these govcrims. Voting in the Demopublican duopoly over and over and over is the cause! If you keep voting for them it tells them it’s ok to have at you, if nothing else!
The purpose of an election is to determine how citizens would vote when a fair election is conducted according to agreed upon rules. It doesn’t seem right for a judge to acknowledge that the rules for a fair election may not have been followed but that, in his opinion, the result would have been the same had the election been fair. With that line of logic, why is it necessary to even hold an election? We could simply ask the judge for his opinion on how the resulting vote would turn out and then simply skip the vote. I congratulate the judge for acknowledging that the government should not use taxpayer funds to campaign for bond issues, but judges should likewise not have their personal opinions replace fair election requirements. Guilford County taxpayers will now be required to surrender a few billion dollars of their money to fund bonds passed in a flawed election and the opinion/guess of one judge. Heck of a way to run a railroad! Kudos to Allen Branson for taking on the validity of the bond election. He has earned my vote!
Keep fighting for us Alan.
So basically this is a moral victory because the judge said that GCS and the county MAY have done something illegally but cites no charges or indictments.
Just further proof of what we already knew. Alston & Contreras are as crooked as a dog’s hind leg & the sheeple will sit idly by while being led to slaughter.
“In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.”
Decision was to determin if shool official had used public money to influence the outcome of Guilford County’s $1.7 billion school bond referendum. Nothing to do with electing officials. I do agree the county school needs to be neutral and let the people decide the outcome.
School board should be FINED!
I hope that is the judge I get when I go to court for speeding. The speed limit is set to prevent accidents. Since there was no accident, there was not wrong. Of course it wouldn’t hold up because I don’t have the proper “D” on my voter ID card.