06/15/10 — District 2 search begins Thursday

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District 2 search begins Thursday

By Steve Herring
Published in News on June 15, 2010 1:46 PM

The committee that will recommend a replacement for District 2 school board member Shirley Sims will hold an organizational meeting Thursday at 10 a.m. in Room 111 at the Jeffreys building, 134 N. John St.

The meeting is open to the public.

Ms. Sims, whose term runs through 2012, has moved to Garner and will step down from her seat at the end of the month.

Meanwhile, two more people have added their names to the list of candidates for the job.

Dr. Dwight Bernard Cannon of Dudley and Len Henderson of Dudley have asked to be added to the list of potential candidates for consideration.

The other candidates are Ven Faulk of Dudley, a former school board candidate, Joyce Hatch of Mount Olive, who, according to the Board of Elections, actually lives in District 4 and would not be eligible to serve, and Lawrence Durham of Dudley.

Also, the deadline has been extended to 5 p.m. on July 12 for people interested in the job to submit their resume and letter of intent to Marcia R. Wilson, Clerk to the Board, Wayne County, P.O. Box 227, Goldsboro, N.C. 27533-0227. All applicants will be subject to a background screening. The telephone number is 731-1445.

The deadline had been June 21.

In a recent interview county commission Chairman Jack Best, who appointed the committee, said that no one had been "knocking down his door" to serve on the school board. Nor did District 2 residents ask to be appointed to the committee, he said.

Best said he had been criticized that the committee inadequately represented District 2 residents. To address those concerns, Best appointed District 2 residents Shirley Bond, a retired educator, and Robyn Wade, a radio announcer. Ms. Wade and Durham are cousins.

Until their appointment last Thursday, former Mount Olive town commissioner Paul Smalley had been the only District 2 resident on what had been a six-person committee

Also on the committee are Thelma Smith, vice chairman of the school board; Jimmy Williams of Mount Olive, former superintendent of Wayne County Schools; Andy Anderson of Pikeville, senior member of the Wayne County commissioners; Jim Parker, a former school board member; and Best.

District 2 stretches southward from the south side of a section of Ash Street and includes Dudley and the area of Mount Olive east of the railroad tracks. It was created as a minority district when the county's voting districts were formed in the late 1980s.

A holdover provision from the merger of the county and Goldsboro city schools in the early 1990s has made the county unique in the state in that commissioners fill vacant school board seats.

Normally, a vacant school board seat is filled by the board if it is nonpartisan, such as is the case in Wayne County. If the seat is partisan then the political party of the departing member fills the seat.

It will be the second time commissioners have made an appointment to the school board. The first was in April 1997 when they met in special session to name a replacement for Carl Maples following his resignation from the school board.

Local and state education leaders have said the appointment authority should be returned to the school board which will require passage of a local bill in the General Assembly.

The school board did look in recent weeks at having such a bill introduced during the ongoing legislative short session. However, the short session traditionally is limited to budgetary issues. Issues perceived as being controversial are avoided.