By Kyle Lovern
CINDERELLA - Those interested in filling a vacancy on the Mingo County Board of Education on an interim basis have until Aug. 27 to apply under the process the school board is using to fill the vacancy that occurred when Bill Duty resigned his board seat to run for Mingo County County Commission.
An individual to fill Duty’s unexpired term will be selected by voters at the Nov. 4 general election. The person chosen by the Board will fill the term until the winner of the election is certified.
Duty, who formerly served as president of the school board, was required to resign his seat before filing for county commission. In the latter contest, Duty will be on the November ballot as a candidate for the unexpired commission term of David Baisden. That seat became vacant when Baisden resigned in a federal plea agreement deal.
The Mingo County Commission selected Mike Carter as Baisden’s temporary replacement. Carter was defeated in the May Democrat primary by County Clerk “Big Jim” Hatfield. But Hatfield withdrew from the race, citing health concerns. The state Elections Commission recognized Hatfield’s withdrawal but refused to approve “extenuating personal circumstances” that would have allowed Democrats to name a replacement candidate.
Since no Republican, Libertarian or Mountain Party member filed for the commission contest in the primary, it meant no name would appear on the ballot for commission unless a candidate mounted a petition campaign. Duty did so as did Diann Hannah. The two will appear on the fall ballot as the only two printed names listed.
Those interested in filling Duty’s term on the school board have until Aug. 19 to file with Hatfield’s office. Whoever the board appoints through its interview process will serve until the Nov. 4 election is certified, which will likely occur in mid-November.
The board has said it will accept letters from those interested in filling the vacancy Duty left on the board.
Letters of interest are to be addressed to the board’s president, Dave Farley. Letters must be delivered no later than 4 p.m., Aug. 27 to the board office at Route 2, Box 310, Williamson, WV 25661.
Only qualified individuals will be considered. To be qualified under state law to fill the vacancy, an individual must be at least 18 years old and entitled to vote. He or she:
1. Must be a citizen and resident of Mingo County.
2. Must not be a resident of Lee or Williamson magisterial districts. (State law does not permit more than two residents from the same magisterial district to serve on a school board at the same time. Two of the board’s current members are from the Lee magisterial district and two current Board members are from the Williamson magisterial district.)
3. Must possess at least a high school diploma or a general education development diploma.
4. Must, if he or she is an employee of the Mingo County Board of Education, agree to promptly resign from all such positions of employment if and when appointed by the board to fill the vacancy and before taking office.
5. Must not be a candidate for, or hold, any other public office.
6. Must not be a candidate for, or serve as an elected member of, any political party executive committee.
The school board intends to appoint someone in early September to fill the vacancy. As part of the process, the board will interview all candidates who appear to meet the stated qualifications.
The names of any and all persons submitting letters of interest may be made public, as may the letters themselves. In the board’s discretion, interviews may be conducted in public or executive session.
There will be a special school board meeting Sept. 2.