Saturday, July 20, 2013

Back to the future

Admitting you're from Cherokee county can sometimes be embarrassing.  For well over a decade, there has been a palpable, negative force in this community's politics.  Yet, We the People have allowed the demagogues and ideologues to continue their invective.  This has provided a largely apathetic community of voters with exactly the effect that should be expected:  a small group of incompetent, self-serving nincompoops that disrupt the good work done by the majority of those who serve the public.  

To come back to the future, we see that Rogers and Jerguson are gone (for good, let's hope), the Election Board failed miserably with its decision on one commissioner (more in an upcoming post), there's a whole new crew of legislators to consider, and a fresh batch of nastiness from the ultra-far-right.

But by far the most interesting story is that of school board member Kelly Marlow.  She's gotten herself into quite a pickle with her tales, and Cherokee is back in the news again.

Marlow has been a divisive figure on the board, making claims of financial impropriety by the district, and has requested a SACS investigation.

The big news, though, came when Marlow and others made the statement to police that, after a contentious school board meeting, School Superintendent Dr. Frank Petruzielo tried to run them down with his vehicle.  Canton police investigated, and felt that the evidence they have was enough to charge them all with the felony of making false statements.  So they did just that, and issued warrants.  Marlow and her friends then proceeded to turn themselves in to law enforcement.

This has shattered the community into two broad camps:  one which insists on privatization of our schools, and the other which demands we protect the integrity of publicly-managed schools.

In the privatization crowd, there are the religious zealots and a more secular "choice" bunch.  While they are in the minority, they resort to loud, bombastic rhetoric to get their point across.  This is Marlow's support group.

The public school advocates - largely teachers and parents - have so far remained more fact-driven in their efforts and are a more monolithic group.  They have assembled a fairly impressive presence within Facebook, and had a good showing at a recent rally.  Many in this group have called for Marlow to resign.

The next school board meeting will be this coming Wednesday, July 24, 7PM, at Cherokee High School auditorium, 930 Marietta Hwy in Canton.  One can only imagine the histrionics to which we'll all be treated.

Let's allow Marlow and her gang to move through the process of justice now, without interference from outside agencies.  But if she is indicted, Marlow should do the right thing and resign, or be removed.  Let this community heal, once again.

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