Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Lexington County Council Dist. 7 - unqualified member?

Be sure to read yesterday's article in The State newspaper about Beth Carrigg, a Lexington County Council member representing District 7. Her husband and she moved out of their in-District home, and a Lexington County resident is challenging her by lawsuit over the issue of qualification to continue to hold office.

As you read the article, consider whether a somewhat-similar issue might exist here in Richland 2 School District.

For months there has been a persistent rumor that one Richland 2 board member no longer lives in the Richland 2 school district. If that is the case, then that board member should have resigned upon moving out of the residence.

Richland 1 School District has had that happen twice in recent years. I was a poll worker for the special election on December 31, 2019, when Jonathan Milling ran (and won) in a special election to fill a vacant seat created when a board member moved out-of-state. He should have been elected for a full term in the November 2020 election, but a dark horse, with no campaign and only $675.00 in campaign funds, came out of nowhere and got nearly 23,000 votes.

If the rumor about the Richland 2 school member is correct, then Richland 2 has THREE illegitimate board members. Two (Teresa Holmes and Amelia McKie) are certain, because neither has ever taken the oath-of-office legally. Evidence is being gathered about the third seat.

You would think that the Richland 2 Board itself would be interested in its integrity. A huge problem this school year is that the Board Chair and the Board Secretary are illegitimate board members. And they are two of the four controlling the board of seven. 

Yet in the many months since I first raised this issue in February 2019, three months after Holmes and McKie were elected, not even one of the minority three board members has made a motion to investigate their legal status.

County Councils and School Boards should be squeaky clean. My attention hs been on the Richland 2 school board since February 2018, when I asked the board to consider a survey of teachers, staff, parents and community members on the topic of arming teachers. That was two weeks after the s school hooting in Parkland, Florida. The board never considered the question; the superintendent answered. Then I asked the board to consider applying for a $15,-20,000 school safety grant from the NRA. Again, the board never discussed it, and the superintendent answered. How does a seven-member elected board get cut out by a hired superintendent?

Should the superintendent stamd up for integrity on the board? All he'll say is the board is properly in place. Well, it's not. Holmes and McKie broke several state laws by taking the oath of office and sitting on the board, before they were eligible (legally) to do so. In fact, they still do so today.

Lexington County will solve its problems. Richland 2 School District should solve its own problems.