More to come later, but the new Democratic majority on the Wake County school board exerted its muscle today by electing Keith Sutton as vice chairman.
The vote ends John Tedesco's tenure as vice chair six months earlier than it was supposed to finish. But the 2009 decision by Republicans to replace Kevin Hill early as board chair set the precedent for today.
During the vice chair's vote, Sutton got five votes. Debra Goldman got three votes. Deborah Prickett got one vote. I'll check the ballots later.
At the start of the organizational meeting, Jim Martin called for them to reaffirm Kevin Hill's earlier vote as chairman. Martin said that votes on chair and vice chair typically occur at the organizational meeting.
John Tedesco said it would be "futile" to have a second vote.
Chris Malone asked if they could hold the organizational meeting after having already elected a chairman. Board attorney Ann Majestic answered yes.
Hill asked if it was to vote again on chair. Majestic answered yes.
Deborah Prickett said they may as well follow procedure even if takes a few more minutes.
Keith Sutton moved for a voice vote of acclimation for Hill to be chairman. But that died because only five of the nine, all Democrats, voted yes. Acclimation votes have to be unanimous.
This meant they went back to a second round of voting.
Sutton nominated Hill. Then Malone, just like the first vote, nominated Sutton. But just as before, Sutton turned down the nomination.
But as earlier noted by Majestic, board members aren't limited to only the people who are nominated.
Before the vote, Prickett said that the board chair should respect that there's now a majority of members who have a full-time day job. She said the chair should be cognizant of that.
The vote was 5-4 with All the Democrats backing Hill. All the Republicans voted for Sutton.
The board then moved to vote on vice chair.
Christine Kushner nominated Sutton. Malone nominated Debra Goldman.
All five Democrats voted for Sutton. Prickett voted for herself. The other three Republicans voted for Goldman.
Afterward, Tedesco was accusing the new Democratic majority of acting like the way they complained the Republicans did in 2009. Tedesco said "they did an amazing job as a partisan bloc." He added "they probably did a better job than we did."
"It's the same thing," Tedesco said of the Democrats' move. "I am not saying it's not OK, just don't go out to the public and say it's all going to be 'Kumbaya.'"
Hill said they were following best practices of most other North Carolina school districts and the Wake County Board of Commissioners who elect officers right after elections.
Outgoing school boaes Ron Margiotta said he had been contacted by Hill to amend today's agenda to include an organzational meeting. Margiotta said he refused after talking with Majestic and determining he didn't have the authority to add it.