CONWAY — Seven board members of the Waccamaw Economic Opportunity Council tried unsuccessfully Tuesday night to begin the process of removing board chairman Zacharius Grate from the agency's governing body.
One of eight board members who sought the special called meeting didn't show up, leaving a powerless minority of the board that could take no action.
"I'm very disappointed (there was no quorum)," said board member Susan Sejda as the nearly three-hour session adjourned. She confirmed that it was to have been the first step in the process of trying to remove Grate.
Had a quorum voted to begin the process, the board's bylaws mandate that it be discussed in a closed session of a future meeting, at which evidence from both sides could be presented, and a vote taken. If a majority at that meeting voted to remove him, Grate would have been off the board.
The dissident board members apparently were trying to use Grate's signature on a contract to build the Choppee Head Start Center in Georgetown County as leverage to force him off the board, according to the meeting's agenda.
The contract was started and construction was begun earlier this year before the agency had the all the money needed to pay for more the $8i00,000 facility. When federal oversight officials learned of the situation, they suspended the project and are investigating, according to James Pasley, the agency's new executive director.
The seven board members at Tuesday night's meeting spent more than two hours behind closed doors discussing a pending personnel issue and "Contractual Issues regarding the Choppee Project and Current Board Leadership."
Sejda said there will likely not be another attempted special meeting about Grate.
"It's going to be the same results every time we try to do this," she said.
Board member Eddie Woods Jr., also present Tuesday night, did not want to comment on the subject of the meeting.
"I don't know what the future holds," he said.
Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765.