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Simmering under the surface of tie votes for the next Halifax County School Board chairman are sharp disagreements among trustees about the direction of the school division and the leadership…
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Halifax County supervisors set process to replace Womack
SoVaNow.com / February 06, 2014The Halifax County Board of Supervisors has set the process it will use in making an appointment for an interim board member for Election District 3.
The action comes on the heels of the Monday night resignation of newly elected ED-3 Supervisor Earl Womack, who previously had stepped down as transportation coordinator for Halifax County Public Schools in January.
Womack made his resignation known in a letter handed out Monday night at the supervisors’ meeting in Halifax. He did not attend; the letter was hand-delivered to supervisors and members of the media by fellow board member William B. Claiborne.
“After hours of thought and discussion with my family, friends and numerous constituents, I have decided to resign my seat on the Halifax County Board of Supervisors,” wrote Womack in the letter. “It is my feeling that this is in the best interest of all concerned. This resignation is effective immediately.”
He continued, “It is my request that the Board of Supervisors fill this seat with an African-American temporary replacement pending a special election. This district was designated by the Justice Department as a minority district which has a voter ratio of approximately 67 percent African-American-33m percent White. This is reflected by the combined votes of Arthur Reynolds and I versus Ray Owen.
“To the citizens of Election District 8, I thank you for your support and continued encouraging words through the election to now. I want you to remember, God has everything under control.
“Again to the Board of Supervisors, please adhere to the Justice Department wishes in selecting my temporary replacement,” Womack wrote.
While he did not specify a reason for resigning his seat, Womack indicated when he left the school system that he was dealing with health issues that forced him to cut back on his activities. Virginia State Police have also indicated they have received requests to investigate Womack, although the department declined to confirm whether it has responded to the complaints.
Following a closed session during which Womack’s retirement was discussed, members indicated they will seek interested persons to fill the seat.
In a Tuesday press release, County Administrator Jim Halasz wrote “Persons interested in being appointed to this seat on the Board of Supervisors must be a qualified voter residing in ED-3. People that vote at the Banister, Staunton River and Sunnyside Baptist Center or the Oak Level Fire Station or the American Legion Post 99 are eligible candidates for the ED-3 seat on the Board.
“In order to be considered, they must submit a completed interest form to the County Administrator’s Office no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21. Interest forms may be obtained at the County Administration Building, 134 South Main Street, Halifax, or by calling the office at (434) 476-3300 X3303 or by downloading the interest form from the County’s website at http://www.halifaxcountyva.gov.
The Board of Supervisors anticipates they will review the applicants for the position and schedule a meeting of the full Board at a later date to interview selected candidates.
State law requires the Board of Supervisors to make an interim appointment within 45 days. The person appointed by the Board will serve until a special election is held in November 2014. The winner of the special election will serve the remainder of the term until Dec. 31, 2017. Should the person appointed by the Board wish to run in the special election, he or she must qualify for the ballot using the normal petition and signature process.
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