Trotter submits resignation

Election to fill seat scheduled for April 1

LIBERTY — Just months after he changed his mind following a public resignation from the School District of Pickens County’s board of trustees, Ben Trotter has officially ended his tenure on the board.

Trotter, who has served as chairman of the board since its Nov. 20 meeting, submitted his written resignation to the Pickens County Registration and Elections Commission last Thursday.

In a surprise ending to what had been a business-as-usual board meeting on Aug. 26, Trotter told those in attendance that he would resign after reaching a point of frustration after the board voted to hire a new nutrition services employee instead of giving raises or bonuses to other employees.

“As of 10 minutes from now, I will officially resign from this board and take my registration to the (Pickens County) Election Commission,” Trotter told the crowd in attendance at the meeting. “I don’t feel I’m doing any good representing anything, and certainly not looking out for the little people. This is something I’ve got to do, and it doesn’t reflect bad on anybody.”

The following day, however, an outpouring of support from his constituents — including nearly 150 phone calls — led to a reversal of his decision before he had submitted his letter to elections commission director Rodney Allen.

“I reckon if it is that important to people, I can go through another year of hell on the board,” Trotter said at the time. “There are other people who’ve been through a lot worse. I’m not going to say anything bad about the board or the district; we just don’t see eye-to-eye on a lot of things.

“I guess I just get tired of feeling like I am beating my head against a wall and getting nowhere.”

This time, however, Trotter’s resignation is official.

In his brief resignation letter, stamped as received and signed by Allen at 3:11 p.m. Thursday, Trotter writes that his resignation will be effective as of Feb. 1.

According to Allen, a special election will be held on April 1 to fill Trotter’s unexpired term on the board. Filing for interested candidates, who must live in School Board District 4, will open at noon on Jan. 17 and run until noon on Jan. 27.

Board vice chairman Alex Saitta said Trotter’s resignation caught him off guard.

“Ben had a conservative voting record and contributed to a lot of the gains we’ve had the last few years, in terms of balancing the budget, bringing the building program hopefully to its end, promoting from within (and) restoring teaching positions,” Saitta said. “He provided A1 constituent service.”