Schools issue clouds meeting

Davis

Tensions over crowded schools cut short Berkeley County Supervisor Dan Davis' town meeting on Daniel Island.

About 30 people turned out for the meeting at the library Thursday evening. Several parents said they were worried the county is not doing enough to make new industries pay for schools. They questioned why county officials offer so many incentives, which result in less tax money for schools.

Davis said the county can't cut incentives or industries won't come at all, and the county needs to grow to create jobs and survive.

Then the discussion turned to why the county changed an agreement that gave the school district money from businesses at the Mount Holly industrial park. Davis said council decided the money should be used to build the next industrial park, so the county won't have to borrow it. He said schools would get money from new businesses if school officials agree to a new tax district for businesses near Jedburg.

School board members Terry Hardesty and Doug Cooper joined the discussion. They said Davis has not tried hard enough to include the school district in planning.

The discussion started getting heated. Davis asked School Board Superintendent Anthony Parker if he agreed that the county had not been communicating enough with the school district. Parker said the county and school officials need to talk about those questions at a meeting, which Davis has set for later this month.

Davis advertised Thursday's meeting as lasting from 6 to 8 p.m., and he said at the beginning that he would stay until everybody's questions were answered. But he adjourned the meeting about 7:15 p.m.

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553 or dmunday@postandcourier.com.