Act now, Southampton

Published 10:29 am Saturday, June 30, 2012

For anyone who would like to see an elected Southampton County School Board, instead of board members who are appointed, you have less than three weeks to get it done for the Nov. 6 election.

Residents can get a referendum on the ballot by getting signatures from 10 percent of the registered voters in the county. The petition must be filed with the Clerk of Courts 111 days before the election, which is around July 19.

This being a presidential election year should mean a good turnout at the polls. This would allow for a good representation of residents on the issue.

Southampton County is among 24 of Virginia’s 134 school districts in which voters do not choose school board members. A three-person committee appointed by a judge does the job.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

In 1991, Virginia was the only state with school boards composed only of appointed members. The General Assembly a year later gave localities the option to elect school board members.

A petition would require signatures from 10 percent of those registered voters as of Jan. 1. The number of voters changes daily, but as of June 1, Southampton County had 12,350. That means 1,235 would need to sign the petition.

So to those who want a change, here’s your chance.