CLOVER -- Several Lake Wylie residents are questioning the residency of a Clover school board member, who they say can't advocate their interests if he doesn't live in the district.
Residents spoke out at this week's school board meeting, saying that it appears Bob Magee no longer lives in the community where he serves on the Clover school board. Magee holds the Bowling Green seat on the seven-member board.
Magee said that concern is unfounded.
His said his wife was reassigned to the Oconee Nuclear Station, and they sold their Lake Wylie home. But Magee said he moved to another Clover-area residence and he still banks, goes to church and exercises locally and visits local restaurants.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Herald
According to York County GIS, Magee owns a home at 5099 Willow Pond Road. As long as a board member has a residence in the community, that person is eligible to serve, according to a district regulation.
Because Magee's sales job involves considerable travel, he said he often is away from Lake Wylie, which he said could cause the misunderstanding. But he said he is still available to discuss school district concerns.
"People can get in touch with me if they want to," said Magee, who was elected in 2006 for his second term. "I don't see how there's any problem."
But some parents don't share his view.
Sherri Ciurlik, the parent of Crowders Creek Middle School student, joined several others in questioning whether Magee meets the residency requirement.
"It's not a personal issue," said Ciurlik, who said she voted for Magee. "My selection no longer resides in Clover."
When Ciurlik tried to contact Magee months ago, she was told he no longer lived in Lake Wylie and was living with his wife near Clemson. Because Magee maintains a Lake Wylie address, Ciurlik said, she was told he could remain on the board.
"If you do not live here, do not work here and do not have a child attending schools here, how can you be my voice?" Ciurlik asked.
Magee said he's still available.
"They can call," Magee said. "We can make an appointment. They can e-mail, or whatever's convenient for them."
Several residents stayed after Monday's school board meeting to consider action, which could include a petition to put pressure on the board. Cuirlick called Magee's Clemson-area residence a "fundamental change" to her representation on the board.
Christine Baldizzi, a parent of two Crowders Creek Elementary School students, also said someone who does not live in the district daily should not represent them.
"We really do need somebody who's in the thick of things," Baldizzi said. "I'm just afraid that he's out of the loop."
Board chairman Steve Brown, along with other members of the board, said little on the issue during Monday's meeting.
"Your concerns are duly noted, and we will address them at the proper time," said Brown, who didn't elaborate.
Some board members spoke with the residents after the meeting and defended the rule to allow Magee to serve until his term expires in two years.
Magee, who cites his "near perfect" attendance record at meetings and six years of service, said he remains committed to the district. He invited residents to communicate with him by calling (803) 831-2955 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.