Officers of the Board shall consist of a chairman, vice-chairman, secretary and treasurer. The secretary and treasurer shall not be members of the Board. Officers shall be elected at the first regular meeting in January each year. The term of office of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman shall be one (1) year. The term of the Secretary and Treasurer shall be as prescribed in their contracts with the Board. Any vacancy in the office of Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary or Treasurer shall be filled at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board. Election shall be in a manner prescribed by the Board and shall be for the remainder of the term of office. The Board may secure the services of legal counsel or other such consultants as it may deem necessary. (KRS 160.160, 160.370, 160.440)"
In regard to school board elections:
- School employees have a First Amendment free speech right to support a school board candidate of their choosing, and to declare that publicly. They can put up yard signs in their own yard; attach bumper stickers to their car; tell friends, family and acquaintances who they support; attend campaign events; and openly urge others to support a candidate (letter to the editor, for example), so long as they are doing these things at their own initiative as a private citizen, and not in coordination with the candidate or campaign. KRS 161.164 prohibits retaliation against an employee for engaging in this constitutionally protected free speech.
- When they begin doing things at the direction or urging of the campaign or candidate, or in direct support of or in coordination with the campaign or candidate, they may be straying into "services" or "management", both of which are still prohibited by law. These kinds of things would include: distributing yard signs or bumper stickers to others; working a "phone bank" or making calls on behalf of a candidate: walking door-to-door with a candidate; driving a candidate to events or to campaign activities; appearing at campaign events to speak in favor of a candidate; hosting a coffee, "meet and greet", or other campaign event; coordinating volunteers or campaign events; assisting with mail outs of campaign materials; appearing in a campaign ad or purchasing a campaign ad; and certainly giving money or in-kind services to the candidate.
- The basic distinction is whether the employee's expression of support is initiated voluntarily by the employee as an individual, and is limited to a public, personal declaration of support (which is permitted), or is part of a larger, coordinated plan that is directed, encouraged, or overseen by the candidate, or is solicited by the candidate, and involves actual service to the campaign/candidate that goes beyond a mere declaration of support.
- In other words, employees can tell anyone they encounter that they are supporting their friend Bob and urge them to do so; but they cannot help Bob or his campaign organization conduct any of their campaign functions.