Following ongoing controversy over the appointment of Bartow County Board of Education District 5 representative Anna Sullivan, the Bartow County Republican Party unanimously passed a resolution calling on the school board to void its vote and leave the seat empty until July's special election.
GOP leaders say by law Sullivan's seat, which was left vacant by Larry Parker's resignation, should have been vacant until filled in an election.
The GOP resolution adopted Friday is:
WHEREAS O.C.G.A.§ 20-2-54.1, the code section dealing with vacancies on local boards of education begins with the clause "In all instances where local laws applicable to local boards of education do not provide otherwise, a vacancy occurring for any reason on a local board of education shall be filled as follows"; and
WHEREAS the text of HB 623, passed in 2003 by Reps. Jeff Lewis, Buddy Childers, Bill Cummings and Paul Smith says its purpose was to "To amend an Act providing for the Board of Education of Bartow County"; and
WHEREAS the text of HB 623 further outlines the procedures for filling vacancies on the Bartow County School Board by special election with no mention of board appointments; and
WHEREAS HB 623 was signed into law by Governor Sonny Perdue May 30, 2003, and therefore became a "local law applicable" to the Bartow County Board of Education; and
WHEREAS the resignation of Mr. Larry Parker in December 2011 should have resulted in the board calling for a special election to fill the position as soon as was legally possible; and
WHEREAS the board appointed Ms. Anna Sullivan to fill the Post 5 position until December 31, 2012, at the February 6, 2012, called meeting; and
WHEREAS after a voter in Post 5 brought the legal issue to the attention of the board and the board of elections, a special election has been scheduled for Post 5 to coincide with the July 31, 2012, Primary; and
WHEREAS the law does not provide for an appointment to this position; and
WHEREAS Ms. Sullivan has continued attending board meetings as if still a member of the board; and
WHEREAS the Bartow County Republican Party believes in upholding the rule of law; and
WHEREAS all four elected members of the Bartow County Board of Education were elected as Republicans;
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that we, the County Committee of the Bartow County Republican Party, call on our elected members of the Bartow County Board of Education to follow the letter of the law and declare the vote to fill the Post 5 seat null and void, leaving the seat vacant until it is legally filled by a special election.