JWC Board Calls Cops, Secret Meeting

JENKINSVILLE – The Sheriff’s Office was called out after the president of the Jenkinsville Water Company decided the approximately 39 seconds one customer had gone over the three minute limit while speaking during the open discussion portion of Monday’s monthly board meeting was too much to endure.

But before deputies could arrive, Dee Melton had stepped down, and Water Board President Gregrey Ginyard said the deputies would not pursue the matter because they had not witnessed the disruption. Ginyard later suggested, and the board agreed, to have a deputy present at future meetings.

Melton, during his time on the floor, pressed the board for answers on the number of gallons lost to leaks in the last month. The operator’s report had earlier stated that the water company had produced 3,681,050 gallons from its wells, while the company also purchased 1,438,000 gallons from Mid County Water. The report also revealed six leaks during the month of September.

The amount of water lost through those leaks, however, was not included in the report.

Ginyard said the amount of water lost is tabulated in the office, but that office staff had been out sick and were not able to produce the water loss numbers in time for the meeting.

Melton also pressed the board over a secret meeting held by the board last week.

“Was the meeting open to the public?” Melton asked.

“In the beginning the meeting was open to the public,” Ginyard answered. “Once it went into executive session, no sir.”

Ginyard also admitted that the meeting had been held without public notice.

“It was a special called meeting where board members signed to say that because of the circumstances that we could do that,” Ginyard said. “The meeting was called to order and then it went into an executive session for legal matters.”

Ginyard later told The Voice that the meeting had been an “emergency meeting” to discuss “personnel matters.”

The S.C. Freedom of Information Act does provide an exemption for public notice of emergency meetings, but not for special called meetings. “Legal matters” or “personnel matters” are not considered adequately specific reasons, under the law, for closing a meeting to the public, however.

As Melton began to question the board regarding what he said was their recent approval of a water tap for a local gas station, Ginyard informed him that his three minutes had expired.

“It says a ‘minimum’ of three minutes on the agenda,” Melton pointed out.

Although the agenda did indeed say ‘limit three minutes minimum per person,’ and while one board member said the ‘minimum’ was a typographical error, Melton refused to yield the floor until after vice president Joseph McBride called 9-1-1.

Melton is currently entangled in a lawsuit with the water company, to include Ginyard and McBride, over the company’s refusal to provide additional taps for his Broad River Campground. That lawsuit was filed in September 2014.

Comments

  1. Jeffrey D Schaffer says

    So darn typical of the way Ginyard handles people and problems. (Like Mushrooms) keeps them in the Dark and then —–on them. This time he is caught again, telling stories and mis informing the public. WHEN WILL THEY SAY ..Enough is enough and force him out !!!

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