The Prince William School Board expects to soon send a letter to the Attorney General, asking for clarification on the process of temporarily replacing the Brentsville school board who will be leaving for a Navy deployment in August.
A board straw poll taken by the board to determine whether or not to send the letter came back in the affirmative.
Sawyers, Williams (Woodbridge), Raulston (Neabsco) and Wilk (Potomac) voted “yes.” Trenum (Brentsville), Satterwhite (Gainesville) and Deutsch (Coles) voted “no.” Lillie Jessie of the Occoquan District abstained.
On June 22, three-term Brentsville School Board member Gil Trenum announced his deployment with the Navy Reserves to the Horn of Africa. He will leave before the 2016-17 school year begins and does not expect to return until the 2017-18 school year.
During the last school board meeting, Trenum told residents that he plans to keep his seat and stay in frequent contact with his constituents. Trenum said that keeping his seat is his right as a Virginia elected official being deployed by the U.S. military, according to Virginia Code 2.2-2802.
Trenum also conferred with an attorney for the Virginia General Assembly who clarified for him that he does not need to relinquish his office. However, he can choose to give notice and temporarily relinquish his office, and in such a case the school board would appoint a temporary replacement.
Trenum said that although he announced his deployment to his constituents, he made a specific point of not requesting a replacement at this time.
“I was not asking to be completely relieved of everything. I do intend to be engaged,” said Trenum, explaining that most of his work is done over email, to which he will have access.
However, since he would not physically be able to attend meetings Trenum wanted to have the board select one of three nominees he recommended to serve in his place while he is deployed.
The three people Trenum recommended are Kim Simons, Christopher Park and Shawn Brann. They are all Brentsville parents who have been involved in their communities, schools and served on Trenum’s budget committee. Simons also runs a local education blog.
Trenum feels his request is reasonable.
“I never said I get to pick the person,” Trenum said. “Here are three people I have working relationships with. I would think the board should find at least one of them acceptable.”
First off, I am so sorry that Mr. Trenum is being deployed. This family has been through enough.
Having said that, our school board is way too political. Just read what is being said. I would love to do away with political parties. I hate them. It seems that everyone lines up either R or D and then all common sense departs.
I don’t know what the answer is. Should the School Board have the final say? I like Don Shaw. Will he represent Gil Trenum? Should the “replacement” represent Trenum or the people of Brentsville? As a person who can’t get their school board member (Gainesville) to even answer an email, that’s an important question.
Should Mr. Trenum get to pick his substitute? Should the supervisor of Brentsville District just choose someone like we was done before we had an elected school board?
Good for Sawyer