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The plan to fill a vacancy

Prince Edward County Administrator Wade Bartlett explained what will happen with the county’s commissioner of revenue position for the month of December during the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors’ regular October meeting.

Edna “Reba” Trent Goldman

On Nov. 5, Edna “Reba” Trent Goldman was elected as the new commissioner of revenue, succeeding the retiring Beverly M. Booth, who is moving to another public office. Booth was elected Nov. 5 to the position of Farmville 101 District supervisor.

“The retiring commissioner of revenue has submitted her request to VRS (Virginia Retirement System) to retire with an effective date of Dec. 1 of this year,” Bartlett said at the board’s October meeting. “This will leave a vacancy from Dec. 1-Dec. 31 of 2019.”

He then read Section 24.2-228.1.E of the Code of Virginia, which states the following: “Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no election to fill a vacancy shall be ordered or held if the general election at which it is to be called is scheduled within 60 days of the end of the term of the office to be filled.”

“This, of course, meets that criteria,” Bartlett said of the situation involving the county’s commissioner of revenue position.

Next, he read Section 24.2-228.1.B: “The highest-ranking deputy officer, … who is qualified to vote and hold that office, shall be vested with the powers and shall perform all of the duties of the office, and shall be entitled to all the privileges and protections afforded by law to elected or appointed constitutional officers for the remainder of the unexpired term.”

Bartlett noted having consulted with the county attorney.

“It’s our combined opinion (that) the Board of Supervisors, one, does not have to petition the court to hold a special election,” he said, “and two, the current highest-ranking deputy officer will automatically hold the position until the end of the term, and three, whomever wins the general election in November will then fill that position on Jan. 1, 2020 …”

Booth’s highest-ranking deputy officer is actually Goldman, who ran unopposed for the commissioner position.

“She’ll have to qualify to hold that position for that month or so,” Bartlett said at the meeting.

He noted that in saying this, what he meant is that to qualify, there is a procedure that must be carried out. This procedure is the process of moving a candidate from being elected to being seated. The process includes the candidate completing a campaign finance report and submitting it, receiving certification of election and taking the oath of office.