On May 17, the voters of Guilford County approved a $1.7 billion school bond – the largest bond referendum for education in the history of the state of North Carolina.
However, there’s a new threat to the bond that could mean school officials never see a dime of that money.
Former Guilford County Commissioner Alan Branson, who won his effort in the May primary to be the at-large Republican candidate for the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, has filed a new complaint against the $1.7 billion school bond on the grounds that Guilford County government and Guilford County Schools illegally used taxpayer funded resources to push for passage of the school bond referendum.
Branson filed a detailed complaint before the election and, on Wednesday, June 1, Branson filed the new complaint calling for a legal remedy: Negate the May primary approval of the bonds.
A Branson win on the issue would mean the $1.7 billion bond referendum would be undone, and, in order to raise that $1.7 billion, the Guilford County commissioners would have to put the bond on a future ballot and it would need to be approved by voters once again.
Branson said this week that it is his understanding that Guilford County Board of Commissioners had been informed in an email that no part of the $1.7 billion school bonds could be issued until the election protest is settled.
If state and local elections officials rule against Branson, he also has the option of taking the matter to court.
The Board of Commissioners held a closed session on Thursday, June 2 to confer with the county attorney about something. However, county officials have not revealed any details regarding the subject of that closed session discussion.
One of the legitimate reasons for the commissioners to go behind closed doors is to protect the attorney/client privilege.
The first step in the process pertaining to the fate of the $1.7 billion bond referendum will be determined in a special Guilford County Board of Elections meeting on Tuesday, June 7 at 2 p.m. The meeting is for “the purpose of holding a preliminary hearing on an election protest of the School Bond contest and any other matters related to the protest.”
For the many interested parties who might like to watch, the meeting will be held in the McAdoo Room on the third floor of the Truist Building at 201 W. Market St. in Greensboro. That preliminary hearing will be livestreamed, with the link to be provided at the Guilford County Board of Elections website:www.guilfordelections.org.