Political, community groups call for electoral changes for DD2 board
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Political and community groups in Dorchester County are reinvigorating calls for change as to how voters elect members of Dorchester School District Two’s board.
In the Tri-County area, the district is the only board where each member represents the entire district, not just certain areas. Some local groups said it’s time that changed.
The heads of the Dorchester Republican and Democratic Parties and community members gathered in downtown Summerville Wednesday to call for single-member district voting.
“The current system is archaic, it is expensive, and it is broken,” Dorchester County Republican Chairman Steven Wright said. “By implementing single-member districts, we will restore the trust and accountability between the voters and those we elect on the school board.”
The groups cited geographical issues, saying until Kellie Bates was elected last year, there was no representation from the North Charleston area.
Democratic Party Chairman Richard Hayes said 49% of the county’s students are African American, and racial representation issues have plagued the board. He said Cynthia Powell, who was also elected last year, is the first African American to sit on the board in over a decade.
However, current board member Justin Farnsworth brought up questions about the motives behind the recent push.
“School board is a non-partisan election,” he said, “so my concern and where I think there needs to be a lot more conversation is to make sure that if we are going to have this conversation about single-member districts, that we’re doing it for the right reasons.”
The groups expect the local legislative delegation to hold a hearing on the matter sometime this month, but an exact date hasn’t been announced yet.
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