By JIMMY ESPY
Allan Baggett, one of the architects behind the failed effort to recall Chattooga County School Board Chairman John Agnew, said he was not aware of any ongoing efforts to remove board members Sammy Ballard, Brad Hayes and Dr. Julia Houston.
Ballard, Hayes and Houston have now served more than 180 days on the board, which under state law makes them eligible to be recalled. Several people involved with the legal action against Agnew, which was rejected by a judge in May, had vowed to seek the additional recalls.
“I tried to stir up a little conversation about it but no one, as far as I know, has any appetite for it or they just don’t have the time,” Baggett told The News on Tuesday. The resident of Mountain View said he was willing to work on another recall but had not been contacted by anyone willing to help.
“I don’t have a feel for what we want to do,” Baggett said. “I do know I’d like a little more support this time, if we decide to do something,” Baggett said.
Baggett said that on the Agnew recall he worked with a committee which voted on all matters. He declined to name any other committee members.
Chairman Agnew said that he had heard nothing about any new recall petitions.
“I haven’t heard anything,” he said. “I don’t know what people are saying on Facebook, but I haven’t heard anything.”
Agnew said he believed he and the three other council members at the time acted in good faith when they voted to switch the school system back to a five-day school week. The decision, made at the very first board meeting attended by Houston, Ballard and Hayes, angered some residents. State law protected them from recall for 180 days, but Agnew endured a legal attack which he said cost him more “almost $10,000.”
“We need to be focusing on the schools and doing a good job there, not worrying about this kind of stuff,” Agnew said.
Senior Judge Adele Grubbs in May ruled against the recall petition, which was filed by Baggett.
“The Court finds that the factual allegations of the petition are not sufficient to support the recall petition,” Grubbs wrote in her opinion.
At the time, Baggett declined to appeal, saying that he would instead focus on supporting a suitable candidate to run against Agnew in 2020.