HUNTERSVILLE – Town Commissioner Charles Jeter has been removed as head of the School Advisory Committee, a group he founded in 2008 to study and advocate for the town’s educational needs.
Jeter was removed as chairman after the town board passed new bylaws that would keep a town board member from serving on the committee. Some commissioners charged that Jeter founded the committee as a political entity to serve his own agenda.
“He created that as a political tool,” Commissioner Ron Julian said. “And even the (SAC) members wanted him out. I totally support that committee and think the new bylaws solve any sort of issue with political manipulation.”
Jeter called the charge “ludicrous.”
“As chairman, I didn’t have a vote,” he said. “So to say that I used it for some kind of political power is ludicrous. I disagreed with some of the members on some issues and we agreed on others. Everyone had their own opinions regardless of what I thought.” Under the new bylaws a commissioner can serve as an ex officio member, but will not have a voting power. He said several members have expressed interest in giving him that position.
“I’m very proud of the work of this committee and I believe they were doing great things,” Jeter said.
Commissioner Sarah McAulay, who was against forming the committee, was the lone vote against changing the bylaws. She preferred the board to vote to dissolve it.
McAulay feared that the committee could harm the goals of the town board by not working in lock step with town leadership. She wants the committee to set its goals and agenda with the town board.
Jeter believes the two groups working together could positively affect Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools policy for local schools.
He wasn’t optimistic, however, that would happen.
“(The Town Board) has a history with advisory committees where we ask their advice and then ignore it,” he said. “With these changes, we’re going to see a honeymoon period where everything is great and then we’ll go back to ignoring (the committee). That’s sad because they’ve done, and will do, great work.”