Motivation for 7th seat is political

I read the news story where State Rep. Neal Collins has taken it upon himself to try and “fix” the Pickens County school board by adding a seventh seat. He claims the board is over managing the school district.

The State Department of Education was created to monitor and review all of the school districts in the state of South Carolina. That responsibility starts with State Superintendent of Education, Molly Spearman.

If Mr. Collins has a complaint about the school district, I believe, it would be more constructive to file a complaint with the State Department of Education. Our school district is in line with all state education laws and regulations, and is fully accredited by the State Department of Education. The state would tell Mr. Collins the district is doing nothing wrong.

Mr. Collins justified his push for the seventh seat by saying AdvancED would look favorably on adding the extra seat. Senator Larry Martin spoke directly to AdvancED and asked if adding a seat would address the problems. AdvancED said the answer was a point blank no.

Senator Martin has also stated publicly, “the responsibility for addressing the AdvancEd issues is clearly with our board members.” Another reason given for a seventh seat was tie votes. You might like to know, there have been only nine tie votes out of over 700 votes in five years, all of which were resolved without problem. It seems Mr. Collins has a credibility problem.

I believe, the motivation for adding a seventh seat is to implement a political agenda. Add another liberal to the school board to support an agenda of higher taxes.

I have personally asked Mr. Collins if he supports the “Robin Nelson Miller aka Concerned Citizens of Pickens County ” push for a tax increase. He suddenly became silent and would not answer, I repeated the question several times to no avail.

Considering the state Legislature short changes funding for school districts and county governments perhaps Mr. Collins, a state representative, should work on “fixing” that instead.

Rick Tate


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