Andy, Opp voters won’t vote for county BOE anymore

Published 1:11 am Thursday, April 13, 2017

In the 2018 election for Covington County School Board, Andalusia and Opp residents will no longer have a vote in county school board elections.

The school system has for the last year or so been working to limit those eligible to seek office and vote in the elections to qualified voters living with their service area.

Last week, officials got their wish as then-Gov. Robert Bentley signed a local bill into law.

Rep. Mike Jones, R-Andalusia, sponsored the local legislation, which passed the Alabama House of Representatives 41-0 and the Alabama Senate 18-0.

“The bill changes the voting arrangement in Covington County,” Covington County Schools Superintendent Shannon Driver said. “It took a about a year to get it done with the help of Rep. Mike Jones and Sen. Jimmy Holley.”

Driver said it will be effective in the 2018 election.

“Anybody who runs for the board must reside in the county outside of Andalusia and Opp,” he said.

Board Vice President Sonny Thommason applauded the bill.

“It needed to be done,” he said. “It will make us more accountable to the people we serve.”

It will also make the school board districts smaller.

The election will still be at-large, everyone in the county outside those that live in the corporate limits of any city served by a separate city board of education, which means Andalusia and Opp.

In the 2018 election, Places 1, 2 and 5 are up for election.

Currently, Thomasson represents Place 1, Jimmy Rodgers represents Place 2 and Jimmy Prestwood is in Place 5.

Place 3’s James Barton and Place 4’s Jeff Bailey were elected to their terms in 2016 and will have to seek re-election in 2020.