In order to properly regulate the practice of optometry, there is established a North Carolina State Board of Examiners in Optometry, which shall consist of five regularly graduated optometrists who have been engaged in the practice of optometry in this State for at least five years and two members to represent the public at large.
No public member shall at any time be a health care provider, be related to or be the spouse of a health care provider, or have any pecuniary interest in the profitability of a health care provider. For purposes of this section, the term "health care provider" shall have the same meaning as provided in G.S. 58-47-5(4). The Governor shall appoint the two public members not later than July 1, 1981.
The optometric members of the Board shall be appointed by the Governor from a list provided by the North Carolina State Optometric Society. For each vacancy, the society must submit at least three names to the Governor. The society shall establish procedures for the nomination and election of optometrist members of the Board. These procedures shall be adopted under the rule-making procedures described in Article 2A, Chapter 150B of the General Statutes, and notice of the proposed procedures shall be given to all licensed optometrists residing in North Carolina. Such procedures shall not conflict with the provisions of this section. Every optometrist with a current North Carolina license residing in the State shall be eligible to vote in all such elections, and the list of licensed optometrists shall constitute the registration list for elections. Any decision of the society relative to the conduct of such elections may be challenged by civil action in the Wake County Superior Court. A challenge must be filed not later than 30 days after the society has rendered the decision in controversy, and all such cases shall be heard de novo.
All Board members serving on June 30, 1981, shall be eligible to complete their respective terms. No member appointed to a term on or after July 1, 1981, shall serve more than two complete consecutive five-year terms, except that each member shall serve until his successor is chosen and qualifies.
The Governor may remove any member for good cause shown. Any vacancy in the optometrist membership of the Board shall be filled for the period of the unexpired term by the Governor from a list of at least three names submitted by the North Carolina State Optometric Society Executive Council. Any vacancy in the public membership of the Board shall be filled by the Governor for the unexpired term. (1909, c. 444, s. 3; 1915, c. 21, s. 1; C.S., s. 6689; 1935, c. 63; 1981, c. 496, s. 1; 1987, c. 827, s. 1; 2000-189, s. 5.)