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David Carson had wanted to serve out the final year of his term as he assumes a judgeship, but has learned he cannot do both.
Monday, April 8, 2013
Longtime Roanoke School Board Chairman David Carson, recently elected by state legislators to become a circuit court judge, said Monday he will leave his school board post in June.
“My plan is to stay through the June board meeting,” Carson said. The process has been a difficult one for him, he said.
Carson, who has been on the school board for eight years and chairman since 2006, said legally he is not permitted to serve on the board and as a judge. He said he looked at whether he could stay on, including the idea of refusing a paycheck as a board member.
He assumes the bench July 1 and will serve on the board through the June 11 school board meeting. A replacement may be in place as soon as June 12.
“It’s breaking my heart,” he said. “I’m not ready to step away.”
Carson said that once he resigns, Todd Putney, the school board vice chairman, will assume the chairman role. Putney has been vice chairman since July 2011 and was first appointed to the board in 2006.
The General Assembly elected Carson last week to fill the judgeship left open in the 23rd Judicial Circuit by the retirement of Roanoke Circuit Court Judge Jonathan Apgar.
Carson said that while he is thrilled and honored to be selected, it’s difficult to realize his time on the board will end.
“I wish I could enjoy it more,” he said.
Carson also announced to city schools staffers in a letter Monday his intentions to step down. In the letter, which is posted on the school system’s website, he wrote that second to his wife and family, his involvement in the school system has been the most rewarding endeavor in his adult life.
Carson, who is a partner in the law firm Johnson, Ayers & Matthews, was most recently reappointed to the school board in July 2011 and as of July 1 has a year left on his current three-year term.
Assistant City Attorney Tim Spencer said the city council will appoint a replacement to serve the final year of Carson’s term.
“He’s given plenty of time,” Spencer said of Carson. “They are looking to reappoint or fill several positions currently.”
The city council is slated to hold a public hearing April 15 to consider candidates to fill two expiring terms on the school board. Five people have applied for the seats, including incumbents Annette Lewis and Suzanne Moore.
City Clerk Stephanie Moon said the council is also scheduled to have a closed session April 15 to discuss the process to appoint Carson’s replacement and have options about how to proceed. She noted that while the two expiring seats must be filled by June 17, there is not the same time crunch to appoint Carson’s replacement.
Moon said the council could follow a time line to have a replacement by June 12. In that scenario, Moon estimated the city would advertise for the spot and take applications until May 3, meet May 6 to discuss which candidates to interview and likely conduct interviews May 20. She said the council would then likely make a decision June 3.
But she also said the city council could forego an advertisement and pick from the current pool of candidates to fill Carson’s post.
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