Everybody needs a hand sometimes — including the Healing and Deliverance Church.
But the church has for too long had an overly generous deal with the Charleston County School District. It’s time for the school board to cut the cord. By June 30.
A good question is how Healing and Deliverance Church, whose pastor is Charleston County School Board member Chris Collins, got such a sweet deal from the Charleston County School District in the first place. The church pays $664 a month ($7,968 annually) to use the former Charlestowne Academy school building for 16 hours a month. But the building costs $49,000 a year to maintain.
And the church has exceeded the 16-hour agreement, allowed its use by other groups, fallen behind in its payments and failed to purchase insurance, district officials report.
In November, the board unanimously (Mr. Collins included) and correctly voted to terminate the lease as of June 30. Now the church’s lawyer says Healing and Deliverance intends to stay there, pending negotiations for a new lease.
Another good question is why that should even be considered a possibility. The church/school district contract allows either party to end the lease with 30 days notice. The church has been given seven months.
The lease was a mistake in the first place. It puts the school board in an awkward position — caught between exercising its fiscal responsibilities and helping out Mr. Collins.
It puts the school staff in a more awkward place — possibly having to play hardball with a board member who has some degree of authority over them.
It costs the district (taxpayers) money, limits the building’s availability for other purposes and makes citizens wonder if any other favors are being doled out at their expense.
Surely the taxpayers, the district staff and the school board all want Healing and Deliverance Church to thrive. But perpetuating an ill-conceived lease is not the way for that to happen.