The big headlines 20 years ago concerned a big shake-up in Lincoln County politics, as three of the Lincoln school board's five members stepped down in order to pursue other elected positions in the county, and a fourth faced possible ouster because of state nepotism laws.
One of the three board members who stepped down — David Faulkner — is now a Lincoln County magistrate. And one of the new people appointed to the vacancies on the school board was Jim Kelley, who now serves as the school board's chairman.
Another board member in February 1993 was Tom Blankenship, who is now a board member once again.
Blankenship faced a battle for much of the year to keep his seat as chairman because of state nepotism laws that said he could not serve on the board while his brother worked as a teacher in the district.
Blankenship fought a suit filed by the state attorney general to have him removed from the board and filed a federal lawsuit contending the nepotism law was unconstitutional.
But in October 1993, the federal lawsuit was dismissed. Blankenship resigned his post a couple weeks later in order to avoid being removed by a circuit judge, which would have barred him from ever serving on the board again.
Blankenship was elected back onto the school board in November 2000 after his brother retired. He currently serves as vice chairman under Kelley. He was unopposed and re-elected to his post in November 2012.
The story below originally published in the Feb. 18, 1993, issue of The Interior Journal.
Three school board members stepping down to run for county office
All three school board members running for county office say they will give up their posts on the board of education to continue their campaigns.
The three, David Faulkner, Dennis Martin and William Napier, were forced to choose between the school board and running for another office by a state law that disqualifies holders or seekers of state or local offices from serving on the school board.
Their resignations will open up a month-long replacement procedure that will culminate in state Education Commission Thomas Boysen appointing new school board members from among those who nominate themselves.
Martin, whose district includes the McKinney precinct and Stanford precincts 3 and 4, gave his resignation effective immediately at last Thursday night's school board meeting.
A candidate for county judge/executive in the Democratic primary, Martin said he wanted to be sure that his service would not violate the law.
Faulkner submitted a written resignation that takes effect March 15, saying he wanted to insure adequate time to replace him without putting the school board in a position where it couldn't vote on anything.
Faulkner, also a candidate for judge/executive in the Democratic primary, said he had verbal assurance from the state education department and the attorney general's office that making his resignation effective a month into the future would not cause ouster proceedings to be instituted.
A board member who has had valid ouster proceedings filed against him can never seek the office again.
That's why Martin made his resignation effective immediately. He said that without a promise in writing that no ouster proceedings would be started, he preferred to resign at once.
Napier gave no indication of his plans at Thursday's meeting. He avoided questions on the subject and bolted out of the meeting as soon as it adjourned.
Tuesday, however, Napier said he planned to continue his run for the Republic nomination for county clerk and would resign his school board seat.
Just when, is another question, though.
"I'm running for county clerk," Napier said Tuesday. "But I'm trying to get some things done (on the school board) before I resign."
He declined to give any particulars on the things he wants to accomplish.
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Interior Time Machine is curated by IJ Editor Ben Kleppinger. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with comments and suggestions.