• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Board hires legal consultant for special election options

The Woodford County Board of Education on Monday voted unanimously to hire a legal consultant regarding all matters relating to a special election, which the board previously took action to proceed with if a recall petition opposing its 5.5 cent facilities tax (to build a new high school) is successful.

The decision to employ attorney Kerry B. Harvey, former U. S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, came after the school board received a letter from the Woodford County Board of Elections.

In the letter dated March 15, the Board of Elections informed schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins and school board members that under state law “this board unanimously voted not to commit to administering an election on the requested May 15, 2018 date (one week prior to the May 22 primary election).”

The letter stated that if there are sufficient signatures (1,377) that would call for an election “we as a board do not know when that process of qualifying the signatures on the petition will be completed.” If that process was completed after March 31 (the deadline for printing absentee ballots), the 45-day period that is federally mandated would appear to prohibit an election to be set for Tuesday, May 15, the letter stated. The Board of Education voted unanimously on March 7 to place the issue of a 5.5 cent facilities tax (per $100 of accessed property value) on the ballot for a special election if a recall petition is certified by Woodford County Clerk Sandy Jones. Under state law, Hawkins has said the school board cannot conduct a recall election outside of a 35- to 45-day window that begins when Jones certifies the petition. Her office received the petition on March 5 and she has up to 30 days from that date to determine if the petition contains enough signatures of qualified voters (1,377 – a number equal to 10 percent of Woodford County’s voters in the last presidential election).

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