Northampton BOE selects new member

Published 5:31 pm Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

JACKSON – After almost a year of deadlock, a majority of the Northampton County Board of Education has finally agreed on selecting a new member. The vote took place during their regular meeting here on March 14.

Clinton Williams will be sworn in during a special virtual meeting on Thursday, March 17, and his appointment will end just a few months later on June 30, 2022. He will take the vacant seat left on the board after Josephine Dunn passed away in Feb. 2021.

Williams, who resides in Garysburg, previously served on Northampton County’s Board of Education from 2000-2004 and again from 2013-2020, serving as Vice Chair and Chair at times during his terms.

The process of filling Dunn’s seat began in May 2021, when four candidates submitted applications for a chance to serve out the rest of her term on the board. Those four candidates included Clinton Williams, Franklin Williams, Melissa Simmons, and Garfield Johnson.

A four-vote majority was the threshold needed to appoint someone to the board.

The initial vote last May, however, was deadlocked with two votes for C. Williams, two for F. Williams, and two for Simmons. The board subsequently voted on the matter at each of their monthly meetings, with the votes remaining the same each time.

It was this Monday’s meeting, however, almost a year later, when they finally came to a majority decision. C. Williams received votes from board members Lucy Edwards, Dr. Marjorie Edwards, Rhonda Taylor, and Barbara Stephenson.

Theresa Scott and Tony Burnette cast their votes for F. Williams, as they have in prior board meetings.

Taylor and M. Edwards made the difference in Monday’s selection, having consistently cast their votes for Simmons each month before, but choosing to vote for C. Williams this time.

According to Board Attorney Rod Malone, Clinton Williams will be sworn in at the board’s next meeting, which was scheduled for March 17 as a special virtual meeting to discuss the calendar for the upcoming school year. After being sworn in, he will participate in that meeting as a board member.

This appointment comes after filing has closed for the upcoming primary election in May. Only two candidates, C. Williams and F. Williams, filed to be included on the ballot for Dunn’s unexpired term. Whoever wins in the primary will be sworn in at a board meeting in July to serve out the remaining two years of Dunn’s term, which is set to expire in 2024.