For the Record

During three Fairfield County School Board meetings, I asked to put a statement on the record and the Chairwoman, Beth Reid, has called me out of order. During the April 8 meeting I stated to the Chairwoman that I was still uncomfortable that my statement had not been allowed in the minutes. It concerned finances and finances are a great concern to my constituents.

I then asked the Chairwoman which policy supports her position. She said she didn’t know. I presented the policy:

Policy BEDG – Minutes of the Board Meetings: “Any other information that any member requests (should) be included or reflected in the minutes.” Adopted 9/9/96; Revised 12/16/03 Legal references: S.C. Code, 1976, as amended, Section 30-4-10, et seq. – S.C. FDIA, Section 30-4-90 -Minutes of meetings of public bodies, Section 30-19-80 -Certain items to be in board minutes

The statement I want in the minutes is simply: “I disagree with board members going to conferences and staying longer than the official business requires which includes days before and/or days after the conference.”

Also, I and other board members have asked the Chairwoman to put different policies on the agenda. For instance, I requested that the board discuss using a portion of the $1.5 million dollars that was not spent last year to lower the millage for 2015 Career Center Budget. She denied this. She sometimes says she has to check the consensus of the board, and with that will deny those requests on the agenda. On March 18, the Chairwoman said she had polled the board (prior to our meeting!) and the majority didn’t want the requested policies on the agenda. It is illegal in the state of South Carolina to poll the board outside of a public meeting. Setting policies is a primary function of the board, thus I am concerned that the Chairwoman does not allow discussion of requested policies at a duly called board meeting. If we want to be a functioning board, making decisions for the best interest of our children in the District, we need to be following our policies and not breaking our own laws.

Videos of the meetings can be seen on the district website:

If you want your voice heard attend the meetings or contact your representative.

Paula Meisner Hartman

Fairfield County School Board Member

District 2



  1. Loretta Davis says

    WOW! We have FINALLY a strong chair who has made terrific strides in significantly improving the image of Fairfield School district. Perhaps other board members should follow the lead and fully realize the positive direction that is FINALLY happened in FCSD. Let us stay professional and quit the silly gripe!

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