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Merger back on the table after commissioners’ meeting Monday night

Though the county commissioners didn’t vote to merge the county and city school systems, they took a potential step in that direction in a 5-2 vote tonight.
After finishing a number of agenda items, Commissioner Buddy Byrd made a motion to rescind action from the last meeting that kept the two school systems intact.
Byrd’s motion passed 4-3.
A short time later, Commissioner Ricky Bullard made the motion that essentially puts merger back in play. Here is Bullard’s motion as written:
“I would like to make a formal request to our legislators Sen. Danny Britt, Rep. Brenden Jones, Sen. Bill Rabon and the Superintendent of Public Instruction to take the necessary actions needed to merge the Columbus County school system and Whiteville city school system into one. We ask that each perform an in-depth study on the issue, and if such findings are favorable, then they could move forward on the merge(r).”
Byrd, Bullard and commissioners Amon McKenzie, Trent Burroughs, and Charles McDowell voted for Bullard’s motion. Commissioners James Prevatte and Edwin Russ voted against it.
It’s not clear if the commissioners expect legislators to take a lead on merger or if the commissioners will.
We’ll work to find out the answer to that question and others at Tuesday and The News Reporter Thursday as the details are sorted out.

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