(Jill Palermo)

The Prince William County School Board “has both the duty and the sole authority” to appoint a temporary replacement for Brentsville representative Gil Trenum, a Navy reservist preparing for a yearlong deployment to Africa, according to an “unofficial opinion” issued by the Virginia attorney general’s office this morning.

The opinion goes on to say that Trenum has already effectively given his notice to temporarily vacate his office, triggering the process to appoint his interim replacement.

“In Prince William County, the appointing authority to fill vacancies on the school board is the remaining members of the school board,” the opinion says. “Here, the school board member in question has given that notice, and thus he has now been ‘relieved from the duties of office’ commencing on the date of his deployment, and the replacement statute is in effect.”

All of that is important because Trenum’s pending deployment has sparked a politically charged dispute over who has the authority, under Virginia law, to appoint a temporary replacement when an elected official is called to active-duty military service.

At issue is whether Trenum has formally given written notice to temporarily vacate his seat and whether the school board must honor his wishes by appointing one of three Brentsville residents Trenum recommended to serve while he is out of the country.

The above picture is of a Republican press conference in support of  Gil Trenum picking his temporary substitute.  There is nothing bipartisan about this picture.  There is just something distasteful about the infusion of party politics into the school board.  Most of us would hope that the focus would be on students, not on politics.

I also find it distasteful that so many state delegates would be involved in a local issue.  Where were our local county supervisors?  I believe in one picture Ms. Lawson was present.  I know she supports Mr. Trenum from what I have read.

Good for our school board to ask for a state ruling.  That seal the deal on where ownership of the responsibility lies. Could we please get on with it?  If Corey Stewart had to take a leave of absence, would he get to pick his temporary successor?

Meanwhile, I wish Mr. Trenum and his family the best of luck and a speedy return home.

12 Thoughts to “School board has the duty and authority to appoint Brentsville replacement”

  1. The question has never been whether or not the School Board has the authority to select CDR Trenum’s temporary replacement, but from what pool they have to make the selection from. I have already voiced my concern and recommendation to the Board, BUT, I’m not a Brentsville resident. No matter how much I liked Gil, he does not officially represent me. So those Brentsville residents Need to make their voices heard now, or else they may not have representation at the next meeting……or at least the rep they want.

    1. I think who got the final say was in question. I think the school board can select who they want in there for a year. I would hope it was by interest in the kids, rather than all the other stuff I have heard.

      I did not like the looks of that press conference, however. It was pure party bs.

      I also think Don Shaw is a fine person and I don’t like how he was treated. He would make a wonderful addition and I think he has the integrity to contact Mr. Trenum and work with him.

  2. Robin Hood

    I think Kim Simons should withdraw too. I’ve seen posts from her that make Donald Trump look circumspect and then there’s that thing about doing business with a pornographer that she reportedly boasted about.

  3. NorthofNokesville

    Given the tenor of recent public pronouncements from PWCS leadership and the school board (and various proxies), I think the safest choice is to sit in the parking lot of the Chuckwagon restaurant, select ten patrons at random as they leave, and give the job to the person who wants it least.

    1. At this point I would just hold a special election and Mr. Trenum could run again during the next election cycle.

      I think some of his suggestions are simply not suitable, for many reasons that I don’t feel the need to share.

      1. NorthofNokesville


        Might work. Lets Brentsville handle their business and keeps the people involved. Frankly, I feel like folks in PWC are constantly settling for the “cleanest part of the cesspool” across the political spectrum. At some point, it’s time to drain and start anew.

      2. I meant suggestions for temporary replacement….I would rule out at least one of those people.

  4. Pat.Herve

    The interim replacement should be left up to the school board. It is in Gil’s best interest to vocally support his own candidate – and if the board finds that person capable – they should appoint that person. It should not be Gil’s choice to choose his interim appointment.

    What is sad is that is the shoe were on the other foot, the very same people would want the board to be picking the replacement. Just look at the US Senate – they will not even vote on a Supreme Court Nominee (or other Federal Judges) – all in the name of politics – but that is ok, because they are confirming what Trump says – when he says the system is rigged.

  5. Watching

    Those same politicians inserted themselves into the bi-county parkway issue and the power line issue, mainly for self-serving political reasons. I remember Cuccinelli holding a rally one day on Pageland They just want the press. It gets so old.

    I will give them credit that they have built quite a coalition of right-wing nuts representing PWC. We have only ourselves to blame. Obviously I don’t agree with the vast majority of the ultra conservative bills they submit every year but my guess is most people aren’t aware what they do or propose or vote for down in Richmond.

    1. The transparency on state voting is woefully …not there. I never remember to go to

  6. BristowGuy

    Keep in mind that when Denita Ramirez resigned her position to move to Richmond, she did not give the School Board a list of names from which to choose. The Board then proceeded to appoint Republican Steve Keen to the position held by Democrat Ramirez.

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