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Committee Wants No Changes to School Board

After having a limited amount of time to meet, the sanctioned Blue Ribbon Committee did not come to a consensus about the proposed school board changes.

What recommendation? When no option is clearly the winner, then clearly no changes should be made!

I am a member of the recently convened Blue Ribbon Committee, brought together by the Cherokee County state legislators, (Rep. Byrd, Sen. Rogers, Rep. Hill, and Rep. Jerguson) for the purpose of determining if the in the way they are structured and elected.

I think it is important to say that when 13 people get together to make a recommendation that will affect the and the for years to come, more than two weeks should be given for the analysis to take place, but that is what we were given. We had until Jan. 30 to work together on this very crucial matter. We met four times over that period of time, and we struggled to do a job that 10 years ago a committee had been given five months to do.

At the third meeting, last Wednesday, 13 Blue Ribbon Committee members, including myself, took our vote on the options that we had presented to each other. Nine members voted for the particular option that would keep the school board members voted for at-large. Four voted for the option to reduce the number of board members and have them elected by posts only. It became obvious to me on Thursday, when we received the notice that we would have to vote again because some of the committee members were confused, that something was very wrong.

We had all seemed to be very much decided on Wednesday night, but someone was questioning the school board option we had voted on. We were scheduled to meet with the delegates on Monday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. We were told to arrive 30 minutes early for our meeting, before the recommendation was to be made to the legislative delegation, so we could clarify and take a new vote.

We arrived on Monday night and in a matter of 30 minutes, in front of the press and the public, we rehashed the same facts we had already discussed in previous meetings. No new information was presented. We then voted. That re-vote completely changed the committee’s recommendation regarding the school board. Eight members changed their votes to options that were completely different than their previous vote. Then the chairperson and secretary of our committee presented the delegation with a completely revised recommendation. I am still shocked that this happened.

How can six votes out of 13 be considered any kind of a majority or solid recommendation? We obviously could not come to a consensus on any of the options. Members of the committee voted completely differently the second time with no new information. As I said in the meeting that night, there was and is no consensus that was reached by this Blue Ribbon Committee. 

As a result, I want to state that the delegation needs to look carefully at what was recommended, because in reality, no one option or change was recommended. As a result, they should do nothing in the way of changes to the school board.

This school board has had constant high commendations from state, regional and local authorities. Cherokee County schools are the top in the state because of the vision and leadership of its school board. I am extremely disheartened by the attempts that are being made to change a system that is working very well.

Please be sure to let your legislative delegates know that you support the Cherokee County School District and its school board the way it is currently structured and elected and that change is unnecessary. What are necessary are Representatives and Senators who actually know what a majority is, listen to the majority of their constituents and don’t make a farce out of our democratic process.

-Janis Micali

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