GOP calls on Democrats to join effort to improve school board transparency

Contact: Tom Swatzel (843) 222-7456

GEORGETOWN –The Georgetown County Republican Party Tuesday sent a letter to county Democratic Party Chairman Nancy Kolman urging the Democrats to join the GOP effort to get the county school board to provide taxpayers easier access to the district’s basic financial and board meeting information via the school district’s website.

“I urge the Democratic Party to publicly stand with the GOP in a bipartisan effort to help county taxpayers and parents gain access to the basic school board information that they are entitled to- factual information that is vital to all county voters, both Democrats and Republicans, in determining overall school board performance,” Georgetown County Republican Party Chairman Tom Swatzel said in his letter.
Click here to read the letter

Last month Swatzel sent a letter to school board Chairman Jim Dumm asking the board to improve transparency by posting on its website a complete school district budget, annual district financial statements and audits, an online check register, board decision documents for meeting agenda items, and the minutes of all board meetings.

The school board has taken no action on the GOP request.

“Beyond what the GOP has called for, the Democratic Party may have other worthy ideas as to what kind of information the school board should make easily accessible. We would welcome that cooperative input,” Swatzel told Kolman in his letter.

Swatzel said the school board transparency issues came to light when the county GOP tried to access school district financial information via the board’s website to better understand the motivation behind legislation sponsored by state Democratic Reps. Vida Miller and Carl Anderson that would have allowed the board to use construction bond money to fund operational deficit spending.

The bill was vetoed by Governor Sanford on April 26th and the veto was sustained in the Senate last week by a crucial vote by Republican Sen. Ray Cleary.

“The county GOP believes there must be more school board transparency, to better inform the public about the performance of the board, and ultimately increase board member accountability to the voters. We hope the Democrats are in agreement,” Swatzel said.