Time to Clarify and Announce Election

TIMELY FACTS MATTER

Does Monongalia County Schools ever plan to announce an open election for a school board seat during the November general election?

Why can’t the officials and the media quickly and reliably inform the public about the law and proper procedure in this case?

Time is running out to act, to report, to mount a possible campaign.

Why did the Dominion Post report on July 19 that the Monongalia County Board of Education “has 80 days before the general election in November to provide notification to the state so [an] appointee can be placed on the ballot” – and make no mention of any other possible candidates for the seat?

Why did superintendent Devono choose to go with the opinion of the County Clerk as opposed to that of the the Executive Director of the West Virginia School Board Association, in regard to having the board vacancy filled by temporary appointment by August 29 (County Clerk) rather than by August 14 (Executive Director)? What are the both the legal and governing implications of the timing of that action? How does the superintendent’s decision accord with the relevant stipulation in statute that is MONONGALIA COUNTY FILES: 2- 06 – QUALIFICATIONS OF BOARD MEMBERS?:

… Every board member shall take the oath prescribed by Article IV, Section 5, of the Constitution, before performing any of the duties of his /her office. The oath shall be filed with the Secretary of the Board.

How does the above stipulation carry any less weight than the stipulation immediately following?:

No more than two members may be elected from the same magisterial district. …

Myers was in fact elected but never occupied a seat that has been effectively vacant since July 1.

Due to 2 members from the Central district currently sitting on the board, only candidates from the Western and Eastern districts of Monongalia County are eligible for the election…that is, essentially, residents from outside the city limits of Morgantown….

_______________

MONONGALIA COUNTY SCHOOLS POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

SECTION 2: SCHOOL BOARD GOVERNANCE AND OPERATION

MONONGALIA COUNTY FILE: 2- 07

BOARD VACANCIES

PURPOSE

Vacancies occur on the board of education due to death, resignation, removal, or failure of a board member to meet the eligibility terms as defined in Monongalia County Policy: Qualification of Board Members: 2- 06.

RESPONSIBILITY

Vacancies will be filled by:

1. The board shall, by appointment, fill a vacancy within forty-five days that occurs in its membership. In the event that the board does not fill the vacancy within forty-five days, the state superintendent of schools shall appoint a person to fill the vacancy.

(a) When the vacancy occurs after the eighty-fourth day before a general election, the affected term of office ends on the thirtieth day of June following the next primary election, the person appointed to fill the vacancy shall continue in office until the completion of the term.

(b) When the vacancy occurs after the eighty-fourth day before a general election and not later than the close of candidate filing for the next succeeding primary election, and the affected term of office does not end on the thirtieth day of June following the next primary election, an election for the unexpired term shall be held at the next primary election, and the appointment shall continue until the thirtieth day of June following the primary election with the duly elected and certified successor taking office on the first day of July following the primary election and serving until the expiration of the original term of office.

(c) When the vacancy occurs after the close of candidate filing for the primary election and not later than eighty-four days before the general election, the vacancy shall be filled by election in the general election, and the appointment shall continue until a successor is elected and certified.

AUTHORITY

Source: Board of Education Minutes

Legal Reference: School Laws of West Virginia: §18-5-2, §18-5-2.

ADOPTED 06/12/84, Revised: 10/28/03

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