RALEIGH — Within the last two weeks, two bills, both of which had a primary sponsorship by Sen. Carl Ford (R-NC33) and both pertain to the organization of Stanly County’s local government, became law.
Senate Bill 17 (SL 2023-19), which was ratified on May 25, modifies the staggering of terms for both the Stanly County Board of Commissioners and the Stanly County Board of Education so that four members are elected in one election cycle, and three members are elected in the following election cycle.
Additionally, Senate Bill 18 (SL 2023-28) became law on June 5 and increases the membership of the Stanly County Airport Authority from five to seven members, in addition to authorizing the Authority to enter into contracts and leases for terms not to exceed 30 years.
Prior to Senate Bill 17, the Stanly County Board of Commissioners and the Stanly County Board of Education each had staggering four-year terms, with five members elected in one election cycle and two members elected in the next election cycle.
Under the new state law, the at-large member from each Board currently elected with four district seats would be next elected for a two-year term, rather than a four-year term.
For the Board of Commissioners, one member from District 5 and one at-large member will be elected in 2024 for four-year terms. In 2026, one at-large member will receive a two-year term while one member each from District 1, District 2, District 3 and District 4 — and every four years thereafter — will receive four-year terms.
Two years after that, one member from District 5 and two at-large members will receive four-year terms.
For the Stanly County Board of Education, the one at-large member will get a two-year term in 2024, while one member each from District 2, District 3, District 4 and District 5 will get four-year terms.
In 2026, one member from District 1 and two at-large members will receive four-year terms.
With Senate Bill 18, the Stanly County Airport Authority’s membership rises from five to seven members while requiring that two of the Authority members must be serving as Stanly County Commissioners and have voting authority.
The bill does not impact the terms of the current Authority members but instead requires the Board of Commissioners to appoint two additional members in a way that maintains the staggering of the terms of office. The Authority is also now authorized to enter into contracts and leases that do not exceed terms of 30 years — a figure that was previously set at 25 years.