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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Petition is afoot and state statutes: The latest from the Ron Price fiasco

There is now a petition being circulated throughout Rockingham County (note: file is in Acrobat format) calling for the removal of Ron Price from the school board.

And Penny Owens, one of the unsuccessful candidates for school board, has found what is apparently the North Carolina statute calling for removal of a school board member on grounds of immoral conduct:

§ 115C‑39. Removal of board members; suspension of duties by State Board. (a) In case the State Board of Education has sufficient evidence that any member of a local board of education is not capable of discharging, or is not discharging, the duties of his office as required by law, or is guilty of immoral or disreputable conduct, the State Board of Education shall notify the chairman of such board of education, unless such chairman is the offending member, in which case all other members of such board shall be notified. Upon receipt of such notice there shall be a meeting of said board of education for the purpose of investigating the charges, and if the charges are found to be true, such board shall declare the office vacant: Provided, that the offending member shall be given proper notice of the hearing and that record of the findings of the other members shall be recorded in the minutes of such board of education. (b) In the event the State Board of Education has appointed an interim superintendent under G.S. 115C‑105.39 and the State Board determines that the local board of education has failed to cooperate with the interim superintendent, the State Board shall have the authority to suspend any of the powers and duties of the local board and to act on its behalf under G.S. 115C‑105.39. (1955, c. 1372, art. 5, s. 13; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 716, s. 5.)
Click here for more info.

Not long ago someone suggested to me that maybe we are making too much of this, because - and this is something I was entirely unaware of for the past few weeks - many of the signs that Ron Price was picking up were in close proximity to the Teamsters hall on Highway 14. And that if he did have malicious intent in mind, that Price should have known it would be insanity to attempt to sabotage a Democrat candidate's campaign in sight of the Teamsters (who were without any exception that I know of pulling hard for all the Democrat candidates).

Here's my thing about that though, and Ron Price is far from the only one I would level this charge at: all the same, Price did put the priorities of furthering his political party over principle (i.e. doing the right thing and having DOT take care of the problem). And I have extremely little patience and tolerance - maybe even none at all - when it comes to people who think of their party first and being considerate toward others second.

Maybe that's just incumbent to the political independent in me, and maybe this isn't how things work in "the real world"...

...But nonetheless: There is right, there is wrong, and it isn't that hard to tell the difference between the two.