Jefferson, N.C. – On Wednesday, September 9, 2020, Ashe County Commissioner Larry Dix submitted his resignation from the Board of Commissioners, to be effective immediately. The resignation comes in the wake of criminal charges filed against Commissioner Dix.
This resignation vacates a four year term on the board held by Commissioner Dix since 2018. The remainder of this term will be filled by appointment by the remaining Board members. North Carolina General Statute 153A-27 lays out a process in which a vacancy is to be filled. The statute states, that upon a vacancy, the “board shall appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy.”
The statute goes on to state that, a qualified person must “be a member of the same political party as the member being replaced” and shall be eligible to vote in Ashe County. If the Board is unable to come to a consensus on a replacement within 60 days of the vacancy, the Clerk of Superior Court shall make an appointment within 10 days of the appointment not being filled.
In either scenario, the Board or Clerk of Superior Court “shall consult the county executive committee of the appropriate political party before filling a vacancy.” Neither the Board nor the Clerk is bound by the committee’s recommendation.
Commissioner Dix won his seat on the Board as a Republican, and the vacancy will be replaced by a Republican, following recommendations by the executive board of the Ashe County Republican Party. Those interested in being considered for the vacancy can contact the Ashe County Republican Party.
Following the vacancy, Chairman to the Board, Todd McNeill commented that the Board would look to move quickly to fill the position with a qualified candidate to avoid any disruption in the County’s business. “Ashe County is navigating through a challenging season of life right now. We need a full and responsive Board of Commissioners that can act quickly to changing conditions. The County’s business can’t wait.”, said McNeill.