Councilman Called Upon to Substantiate Claims of Racism

Vice Chairman Appeals for Peace After Public Squabble

WINNSBORO – A County Councilman who not once but twice spouted cries of racism during Council’s February meetings was called on the carpet Monday night by a citizen demanding that the Councilman back up those claims with facts.

Councilman Mikel Trapp (District 3) said during Council’s Feb. 10 meeting that criticism of S2 Engineering, the firm responsible for the construction of the new football field at Drawdy Park where a 50-foot section of retaining wall collapsed in January, was motivated by race.

When Trapp took some heat for those comments at Council’s Feb. 24 meeting, he doubled down, lashing out at the Fairfield County citizens’ watchdog group, Saving Fairfield. Trapp said that member of Saving Fairfield had used racial slurs against him on numerous occasions and had even telephoned his place of employment in an effort to get him fired. Saving Fairfield “promotes hatred and racism,” Trapp said on Feb. 24.

Saving Fairfield spokesman Bob Carrison denied Trapp’s accusations the very next day, and Monday night Tim Schroll, another Saving Fairfield member, said Trapp’s claims have no basis in reality and that Trapp’s behavior was outside the bounds of Council’s guidelines for code of conduct.

“(Trapp) claims someone or several members of (Saving Fairfield) used a racial epithet toward him. He also claims that there were no witnesses to this and he refused to give any names, dates or places it occurred,” Schroll said during the meeting’s second public comment portion. “He’s made previous statements that have no evidence to support it. Maybe someone should depose this council member under oath where he can repeat these charges as well as be forced to substantiate them for the record as well as accept the full weight of the law for false statements he makes. It is time for this council member to either prove these allegations or publicly withdraw them. I ask the council to hold themselves to the same standards they hold us to. If you agree to do that, I can ask no less.”

But Trapp appeared unmoved and instead instructed Schroll, who identified himself as a resident of District 6, to stay on his own turf.

“It would probably serve you better if you concentrate on District 6 and let District 3 operate the way it operates because District 3 is running just fine,” Trapp said.

Monday night’s meeting got off on an even more sour note when Dawkins resident Jeff Schaffer was ejected from chambers in the middle of the meeting’s opening public comments portion.

“It’s hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong. That would be you folks,” Schaffer began, quoting from Thomas Sowell, he said. By the time Schaffer got around to adding, “Whenever I think you folks can’t get any dumber . . . I’m just amazed,” Chairman David Ferguson (District 5) lowered the gavel.

“Don’t you slap that thing again,” Schaffer said.

“I’ll slap it if I have to,” Ferguson replied.

“Slap all you want,” Schaffer taunted.

“You will not address this Council like that,” Ferguson said.

“I’ll address you any way I want to address you,” Schaffer said. “You address me with some respect. You’re not intimidating me. You may do that to some other people, but you’re not doing that to me.”

At that moment, Schaffer was escorted from chambers through the grumbling audience by a Fairfield County Sheriff’s deputy.

Bookending a standard slate of routine business, the public comments sessions caused Vice Chairman Dwayne Perry (District 1) to reflect on decorum.

“We should be professional enough to get our points across without attacking one another. Any time you attack someone it rarely builds a bridge to developing trust,” Perry said. “If I were ever to call one of you ‘stupid’ or ‘dumb’ sitting up here, that would be very disrespectful. I think my mother would turn over in her grave if I’d said that to you all.

“I think we should be kind,” Perry said. “That’s a pretty strong word, but I think we should be kind and considerate. Sometimes it does hurt and it’s sad to sit up here and see the way we act toward each other. It didn’t used to be like that and I’d prefer, if there’s any way possible, we get away from that and get back to the business of this county and treating people like we want to be treated.”

Comments

  1. Mark Polk says

    Mr. Trapp cannot state who uttered the “racial epithet” toward him because it did not happen. This is a typical political diversion tactic – the fact remains that the wall at Drawdy Park collapsed and instead of wanting to find the reason why, Mr. Trapp wants to put blame elsewhere. Why?

  2. Mark Polk says

    Mr. Trapp cannot tell who made the “racial epithet” because it did not happen. This is a typical political diversion – the fact is the wall at Drawdy Park did fall and Mr. Trapp wants to blame someone else. Why?

  3. Mark Polk says

    Mr. Trapp cannot prove his claim of a “racial epithet” because it did not happen. This is a typical political diversion – the fact is the wall at Drawdy Park designed by S2 Engineering did fall down. Mr. Trapp seems to be trying to blame someone else. Why?

  4. Mark Polk says

    Please prove this name calling allegation, Mr. Trapp, or apologize, and the fact is the wall at Drawdy Park did fall and S2 Engineering was the contractor. Are you trying to blame someone else and why?

Speak Your Mind

*