Legal opinion affects NWACC trustee terms

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 119 views 

BENTONVILLE –  The Arkansas Attorney General’s Office on Friday (May 25) issued an opinion regarding the election of board trustees for NorthWest Arkansas Community College and the new establishment of electoral zones resulting from the 2010 Census and Arkansas Higher Education law originating in 1995. 

The college had requested an opinion through Rep. Mary Lou Slinkard, R-Gravette, earlier this year.

Friday’s opinion requires all nine positions on the NWACC board to be up for election at one time and did not come as a surprise to the college, according to spokesman Steven Hines. Board trustees were previously elected on staggered terms.

Hines said Jim Hall, executive director of government relations and Glenn Kelley, legal counsel for the college, has been following the issue and awaiting the ruling.

“I feel confident that, however the board of trustees is elected, it will be an effective board of directors for the college. I hope that some current board members will be re-elected in order to provide continuity,” said Alex Vasquez, board chairman.

The NWA Regional Planning Commission is in the process of drafting maps for the electoral zones. It is anticipated that the election will be held in November.

The board is in the process of selecting a search firm to help the trustees chose a replacement for NWACC President Dr. Becky Paneitz, who is retiring in June 2013.