What is the Guilford County school board going to do without Alan Duncan? He has been the glue that has held the board together since first being named chairman in 2002.
Duncan was appointed to the North Carolina Board of Education in May and could have legally served on both boards, since one is elected and one appointed. But people speculated on how even Duncan, who is a time management wizard, could manage that along with his law practice.
Duncan has done a tremendous job for the people of Guilford County, and in particular the children of Guilford County, during his tenure and he will difficult to replace.
The Democrats now have the task of replacing Duncan on the ballot for the November election. He was the Democratic nominee for the at-large seat on the school board, and the executive committee of the Guilford County Democratic Party gets to choose someone to finish out his term and someone to replace him on the ballot. It will most likely be the same person, since being in office for even a few months is an advantage in an election.
Whomever the Democrats choose will face Republican Marc Ridgill on the ballot in November. Ridgill is a retired Greensboro police officer who served as a school resource officer, which gives him a unique perspective on the schools and experience with school security issues.
When I think of constitutional amendments, I think of the Bill of Rights, free speech, freedom of the press, the freedom to worship, but I have never put the right to hunt and fish in that category. Not that I have anything against hunting and fishing.
An amendment to add the right to hunt and fish is almost certainly going to be on the ballot in November. A bill to put the amendment before the people for a vote is before the legislature and has the support of President Pro Tem of the state Senate Phil Berger. Since Berger is supporting it, the bill is almost assured of passage.
North Carolina will be the 22nd state to have an amendment guaranteeing the right to hunt and fish.
But that is just the beginning when it comes to proposed constitutional amendments.
Also likely to be on the ballot in November is a constitutional amendment that requires people to show photo ID before voting.
Another proposed amendment would lower the state income tax cap from 10 percent to 5.5 percent.
While another would change the way judicial vacancies are filled. Currently the governor appoints a judge to fill a vacancy. Under the proposed constitutional amendment, the governor would still appoint the judge, but the governor would have to choose between two nominees who would first be nominated by the people of the state. Then a nonpartisan board would evaluate the nominees and make recommendations to the General Assembly, which would then choose two to send to the governor and the governor would appoint one of the two nominees.
Finally Marsy’s Law, which gives more rights to crime victims, is also being proposed to be placed on the ballot as a constitutional amendment.
But the legislature is planning to meet until Friday, June 29, so there is plenty of time for more constitutional amendments to be added.
It looks like Greensboro is going to get its bill through the legislature to make changes to the Police Community Review Board so it will no longer be a subcommittee of the Human Relations Committee appointed by the Human Relations Committee chairman.
Last week the bill was in trouble because the lead sponsor in the House was Democrat Rep. Pricey Harrison and in the Senate it was Democrat Sen. Gladys Robinson.
In the House, some of the bill’s supporters thought Rep. Jon Hardister was sponsoring it and some thought Rep. John Faircloth was the sponsor, both are Republicans. Hardister is the majority whip, and if either of them had been the lead sponsor the bill would have had a good chance of passing.
The fact that the bill was sponsored by Democrats in the House and Senate is a good indication that someone messed up.
Last week Republican State Sen. Trudy Wade said she had some problems with the way the bill was written.
However, this week Wade took the rewritten bill and added it to a House bill allowing the Guilford County Animal Shelter to keep certain records confidential, and Wade said that bill passed the Senate on Wednesday and was expected to pass the House next week.
The bill stating that the Guilford-Alamance county line is where it was established in 1770 has passed the House and is expected to pass the Senate on Thursday. This was extremely controversial for a few years, but finally the boards of commissioners of the two counties agreed that the line was where it had always been.