Grantham says he still lives in board district

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 30, 2003

If Concordia Parish School Board President Mike Grantham is living outside the district he represents, the board will have to appoint a replacement for him, said an official with the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office.

In a letter sent earlier this week to board members, district officials, the Attorney General and Secretary of State’s offices and the local media, Carol Brown of Ferriday stated that Grantham now lives in District 5A.

Grantham, who has served on the board since 1995, was elected to represent District 4B. Although an address given for Grantham by directory assistance is located in Vidalia, it was not clear as of Thursday whether Grantham still owned a home in Ridgecrest.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;I still live in my district. They don’t know what they’re talking about,&uot; Grantham said Thursday. As far as his address is concerned, Grantham said, &uot;That’s my business.&uot;

In her letter, Brown asks the board to appoint a new member for District 4B and determine whether any votes Grantham has cast were illegal. She also asks the board to &uot;determine whether Mr. Grantham has received any compensation while living outside of the district from which he was elected.&uot;

Although Assistant Secretary of State Al Ater was not familiar with Grantham’s situation as of Wednesday, he noted that &uot;the law is very clear that if you do not live in the district you (are elected) from, you’re not allowed to serve.&uot;

If there is more than one year left in a school board member’s term, the board is required under law to declare the position vacant, and a special election is held to fill the seat.

However, if there is less than one year to go in the term, the board simply appoints someone to the seat until the next regular election is held.

In Concordia Parish’s case, the School Board election was set for last fall but has been delayed due to delays in reapportionment, Ater pointed out.

Since the School Board members have already served more than four years, &uot;there is no time left on their term, so the board would simply appoint someone to fill that position,&uot; Ater said.

If the board was deadlocked on who to appoint to the position and could not resolve the tie, Gov. Mike Foster would appoint someone to the position, &uot;but that’s very rare,&uot; Ater said.

Superintendent Lester &uot;Pete&uot; Peterman said Thursday that he does not know where Grantham lives but that he has asked board attorney John Guice to research the situation.

Guice could not be reached for comment.