By Betsy Finklea
Sparks flew at a special called meeting of the Dillon County Council last week.
Councilman Jamal Campbell and Councilman Stevie Grice were discussing a budget issue when Campbell made a remark about Grice missing some meetings.
Campbell was saying that the council hadn’t looked at the budget by line items and then said that Grice had missed some of the meetings. Campbell said, “But the majority vote knows something that we haven’t even put together. We haven’t even looked at this by line items, and you, per se, missed three of the meetings.”
Then Grice got up and took the podium.
“I’m going to say this,” said Grice. “I’m glad you said that. I am going to get up and stand up and talk for a minute.”
“Go ahead,” Campbell said.
“I’ve missed two meetings. I missed on the 23rd, and I let them know a month ahead of time. I didn’t tell you because I didn’t have to. She (referring to Detrice Dawkins) didn’t tell me because she didn’t have to. I missed on the 29th because it was a called meeting. But one thing I will say you throw rocks, and live in a glass house, and your glass house ain’t even in your district. You know what, I do live in my district I’m in. He don’t. He don’t live in his district that he represents. He lives in Mrs. Dawkins district. But there are laws and rules that say you are supposed to live in your district,” Grice said.
“Honesty…transparency…accountability…that’s all I hear.”
“Honesty. You live in your district?, “ Grice asked.
“Yup,” said Campbell.
“You live on Curry Street?,” asked Grice.
“I have two,” Campbell said.
“You have two houses?,” Grice asked.
Campbell said yes.
“Good. I’m glad you do just like everybody else does,” Grice said.
“Yup,” Campbell said.
“Alright. You don’t live in your district. Honesty,” Grice said.
“Transparency. You are supposed to be a man of the cloth, and you are going to lie about where you live,” said Grice.
Campbell responds. (His response starts with I never, but the rest was inaudible on the tape made by The Herald. The Herald does not know if Campbell has ever claimed or represented himself to be a man of the cloth.)
“I know one thing, I do know a good man of the cloth, and he is the Democratic Chairman. I think we ought talk about it…where you live.”
“Let’s go talk to him,” said Campbell.
“And I hear Judge Burch all the time. We may need to talk to Judge Burch about it,” Grice said.
“Let’s talk to him,” Campbell said.
“We probably do,” said Grice.
“Because you know what. The rules don’t go for everybody BUT you, and that’s what you seem to think,” Grice said.
“No, I don’t,” said Campbell.
“The rules are for everybody,” said Grice.
“The thing is honesty and transparency. These people know where you live too,” said Grice.
“We’re talking about the budget,” someone in the audience says.
“We’re talking about…what is honesty and transparency just mean about what you want or is it for everybody? That’s what I want to know. Is honesty and transparency about everybody? It’s about everybody, but it’s okay for somebody to lie and do the wrong thing. ”
Somebody in the audience says let’s talk about fire departments. “We talked about fire departments,” Grice said. “Let’s talk about this, but nobody wants to talk about this do they?”
Audience members stood up and got loud. Finklea ruled them out of order. Grice took his seat back up with council.
By Betsy Finklea