07/11/10 — Monday deadline for school board District 2 seat

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Monday deadline for school board District 2 seat

By Steve Herring
Published in News on July 11, 2010 1:50 AM

Monday at 5 p.m. is the deadline for applications for the District 2 seat on the Wayne County Board of Education left vacant when longtime board member Shirley Sims stepped down last month.

Candidates for the post must live in District 2 -- an area that encompasses Mount Olive east of the railroad tracks, Dudley and a section of Goldsboro south of Ash Street.

The committee that is heading the search for Mrs. Sims' replacement will hold its second meeting Monday morning at 10 in room 111 of the Jeffreys Building at 134 N. John St.

Ms. Sims has moved to Garner. Her term runs through 2012.

At its first meeting last month, the committee heard public comments and then came up with a draft list of about eight questions to ask potential candidates. Monday's meeting is open to the public.

The committee will meet at the same location on July 21 and 22 at 2 p.m. each day to interview the candidates.

The committee's recommendation will be considered by the county Board of Commissioners when they meet in special session on July 23 at 9 a.m. in their meeting room on the fourth floor of the county courthouse annex.

In Wayne County, commissioners have the power of appointment to a vacant seat on the school board. It is the only county in the state that gives commissioners that power.

The meetings are open to the public.

District residents interested in the office should submit their resume and letter of intent for the office by 5 p.m. Monday.

They should be sent to Marcia R. Wilson, Clerk to the Board, Wayne County, P.O. Box 227, Goldsboro, N.C., 27533-0227. The telephone number is 731-1445.

All applicants will be subject to a background screening. The county Board of Education is made up of six district seats and one at-large seat.

Candidates who have announced their wish to serve as the District 2 representative 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 be not be eligible to serve; Lawrence Durham of Dudley, who is the cousin of committee member Robyn Wade; Len Henderson of Dudley; and Dr. Dwight Bernard Cannon.

Committee members are county commission Chairman Jack Best, who appointed the committee; Paul Smalley, a former Mount Olive town commissioner; Jimmy Williams, former superintendent of Wayne County Public Schools; Thelma Smith, vice-chairman of the school board; Andy Anderson of Pikeville, senior member of the Wayne County commissioners; Jim Parker, a former school board member; Shirley Bond, a retired educator, and Ms. Wade, a radio announcer.

It will be the second time commissioners have made an appointment to the school board.

The first was in April 1997 when they named a replacement for Carl Maples following his resignation from the school board.

Vacant school board seats are normally filled by the school board if it is nonpartisan office, such as in Wayne County. If the seat is partisan then the political party of the departing member makes the appointment.

The commissioners received the appointment power decades ago as part of the merger agreement between the county and Goldsboro school systems. Local and state school officials say it is time to return that authority to the school board. The change would require local legislation to be approved by the North Carolina General Assembly.