153A-27. Vacancies on the board of commissioners.

(a) If a vacancy occurs on the board of commissioners, the remaining members of the board shall appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy. If the number of vacancies on the board is such that a quorum of the board cannot be obtained, the chairman of the board shall appoint enough members to make up a quorum, and the board shall then proceed to fill the remaining vacancies. If the number of vacancies on the board is such that a quorum of the board cannot be obtained and the office of chairman is vacant, the clerk of superior court of the county shall fill the vacancies upon the request of any remaining member of the board or upon the petition of any five registered voters of the county. If for any other reason the remaining members of the board do not fill a vacancy within 60 days after the day the vacancy occurs, the clerk shall immediately report the vacancy to the clerk of superior court of the county. The clerk of superior court shall, within 10 days after the day the vacancy is reported to him, fill the vacancy.

(b) If the member being replaced was serving a two-year term, or if the member was serving a four-year term and the vacancy occurs later than 60 days before the general election for county commissioner held after the first two years of the term, the appointment to fill the vacancy is for the remainder of the unexpired term. Otherwise, the term of the person appointed to fill the vacancy extends to the first Monday in December next following the first general election for county commissioner held more than 60 days after the day the vacancy occurs; at that general election, a person shall be elected to the seat vacated, either to the remainder of the unexpired term or, if the term has expired, to a full term.

(c) To be eligible for appointment to fill a vacancy, a person must (i) be a member of the same political party as the member being replaced, if that member was elected as the nominee of a political party, and (ii) be a resident of the same district as the member being replaced, if the county is divided into electoral districts. The board of commissioners or the clerk of superior court, as the case may be, shall consult the county executive committee of the appropriate political party before filling a vacancy, but neither the board nor the clerk of the superior court is bound by the committee's recommendation. (Code, s. 719; 1895, c. 135, s. 7; Rev., s. 1314; 1909, c. 490, s. 1; C.S., s. 1294; 1959, c. 1325; 1965, cc. 239, 382; 1967, cc. 7, 424, 439, 1022; 1969, cc. 82, 222; 1971, c. 743, s. 1; 1973, c. 822, s. 1; 1985, c. 563, ss. 7.3, 7.4; 2017-2, s. 1.)