It’s election time

Published 10:51 pm Sunday, October 6, 2019

Landrum residents hear from school board, council, fire and rescue candidates

LANDRUM—Landrum residents got to hear from local candidates this week during a town hall meeting sponsored by the Landrum Lions Club at the Landrum Depot. 

About 50 people attended the event, that included candidates for Landrum City Council, the Landrum Fire and Rescue Commission and the Spartanburg County District 1 School Board. 

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Spartanburg County Commissioner and Landrum Lion Bob Walker led the meeting and asked questions. 

Landrum Council incumbents Johnny Carruth and Joyce Whiteside were present and told why they are running for re-election. Shannon Dotson had a prior commitment. No one challenged the incumbent council members this year. 

The Landrum Fire and Rescue Commission had Joey Brown attend and Dianna Winkler’s daughter spoke on her behalf. There was a mistake this year with the fire and rescue commission election and no names will be on the ballot, but write in candidates will be accepted. 

Of the 10 candidates for District 1 School Board, 7 attended Thursday night. Candidates present included Randy Bryant, Bo Cantrell, Billy Cothran, Gordon Lee, Travis Sloan, Lori Walter and Tim Williams. There are four seats available. 

Walker gave each candidate three minutes to tell about themselves and why they are running for the school board. There were many questions, that ranged from their number one reason for running; if they feel there is too much student testing; what their position is on standardized tests; if they favor term limits for board members; their greatest concern in the operation of School District 1; if they favor allowing public comments to be added to the agenda for board meetings; if ACT 388 is fair to South Carolina citizens; if they feel the current tax millage of 197 is correct and if it needs to be raised; if they support the election of one board member from each precinct; and several questions regarding teacher pay, average student expenditures and whether there is a problem with South Carolina students being adequately prepared for college or a career as well as a few other questions. 

All candidates said there was too much standardized testing, with Williams saying there also has to be some way of determining how the kids are doing, saying he does not know that District 1 is doing too much regular testing. He also said teachers need to be careful not to focus too much on what “Susie” or “Johnny” made on a test. 

All candidates also said they are in favor of term limits and all said they are not in favor of a board member for each precinct, mainly because it is hard to get members to run from every precint. 

All candidates also said they think the 197 millage rate is appropriate for the budget and agreed to add public comments to the agenda for every meeting. 

The election will be Tuesday, Nov. 5.