SUPPORT ELECTED SCHOOL BOARDS
By James Doran
Back in December 2012, I had my first introduction to Hanover County politics. With the school board seat for my district coming up for appointment in 2013, I decided to reach out to the person that would be doing the appointing — Cold Harbor Supervisor Elton Wade. When I talked to Elton about throwing my hat in the ring, he was nice enough on the phone and agreed to meet with me after the holidays.
That meeting never occurred. The reason it didn’t occur is that the next issue of the Mechanicsville Local featured a story about Norman Sulser and how he thought he had a “handshake “ deal with Elton dating back 20 years and should be appointed to the school board as his reward. Elton said he didn’t remember making that agreement, but went with Norm’s word and appointed him in June 2013. As you might imagine, that experience left a sour taste in my mouth and made me wonder why Hanover appoints its school board members rather than elects them.
Roughly eight years later, I’m still convinced that an elected school board is in the best interest of the citizens of Hanover County. More importantly, I’m convinced that an elected school board is in the best interests of the 17,000 schoolchildren in Hanover. I ran for the Board of Supervisors seat in Cold Harbor in 2019 and one of the main reasons was that position currently appoints the school board member from our district. I’m not pushing for an elected school board with designs on running for it myself. I want the citizens in Hanover to have more of a say in who makes these decisions.