Jones replacement process underway
Published 5:07 pm Friday, November 12, 2021
GATESVILLE – The process to appoint an individual to serve out the unexpired term of former Gates County Commissioner Jonathan Jones is formally underway.
Following North Carolina General Statute 153A-27, the Executive Committee of the Gates County Democratic Party was scheduled to meet on Wednesday (Nov. 10) where they were expected to make nominations for that empty seat on the board of commissioners. Those nominated must meet certain criteria, to include being at least 18 years of age, have a permanent residence in the Eure District, and are a registered Democrat.
From those nominations, the county’s Democratic Party Executive Committee will recommend one name to the board of commissioners. However, the commissioners are not required, by state law, to accept that recommendation. They can choose any individual, as long as that person meets the same criteria as noted above.
The commissioners have 60 days from the date of the resignation to make a selection. If not, the Clerk of Gates County Superior Court can make the selection to fill the seat.
Jones, who announced in July of his intentions to step down from the seat to which he was elected in 2018, submitted his formal letter of resignation on Oct. 11.
The Gates County Board of Commissioners were scheduled to hold a retreat this week (Nov. 7-8) where they previously announced plans to discuss a proposal to use $600,000 of taxpayer’s money to purchase 145 acres of land for the purpose of economic development.
There was a push by some Gates County residents to have that retreat postponed until the Eure District seat was filled. That effort included an online petition requesting the retreat be moved to a more appropriate time in which all districts are represented.
When asked about what was to take place at the retreat, which was held at the Merchants Millpond State Park Visitors Center and open to the public, Commission Chair Dr. Althea Riddick said that gathering was to “work on several projects,” and “we will not take any official action.”
As to addressing, during the retreat, the current process of replacing Jones on the board, Riddick stated, “I can assure you we are not going to discuss anything about the vacancy. We can’t, the board cannot act until the [Gates County Democratic Party] Executive Committee convenes. The Board of Commissioners is following the process as determined by [state] statute.”