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Town of Pine Ridge releases clip of meeting tape and e-mail explanation; situation much clearer

Pine Ridge, SC (Paul Kirby) – After an article that ran in The Lexington Ledger Sunday regarding the Town of Pine Ridge, their elected leadership took a giant step forward toward some transparency by releasing a section of the tape of the meeting that was held on September 19, 2018. That was the meeting that everyone in the room thought they heard that the town administrator resigned. The tape helps, but still begged a little clarification. That was provided by Town Administrator Viki Miller who e-mailed a Lexington Ledger staff member that shed even more light on what went on. We won’t even ask why it took 12-days to do the right thing, you did it and that’s what matters.

In the tape, Mayor Robert Wells can be heard saying, “On the personnel matter, we didn’t come to a decision on that, and however in lieu of not making a decision on that, we have then received the resignation by Mrs. Miller.” That’s about the time that Miller began to cry, and everyone sort of made their shocked emoji faces. The mayor then immediately goes into citizen comment time where a line of people lament the leaving of Miller. Certainly, if they didn’t accept it, one of the five must have realized that the crowd took it the wrong way and could have straightened it out, but hey, maybe they were in shock too. That's okay, they've done the right thing and that's important.

On Monday, October 1, 2018, Viki Miller e-mailed The Ledger and said, “In light of a recent news article in the Lexington Ledger, a portion of the recording of the September 19, 2018, Special Council Meeting is being released so as to clear up any misunderstanding or miscommunication as to the statement made by Mayor Wells regarding the resignation of Mrs. Viki Miller. Mrs. Miller was asked to reconsider her decision and was given time to do so. After contemplation, Mrs. Miller elected to rescind her resignation and was happily accepted back.” That clears it all up and wasn’t so tough was it?

I personally applaud the government of Pine Ridge for doing this. It helps all who were at the meeting some. Apparently, they didn’t say they accepted the resignation and that’s a good thing. You can’t replace Miller’s experience overnight. Certainly, the crowd that attended were mostly citizens of the town that needed to know what happened. If they hadn’t decided to accept the resignation that night, why didn’t they just say so? Please don’t hide behind, “It was a personnel matter.” The people have a right to know what’s going on. “We took no action,” is something and it is not a violation of the, “It’s a personnel matter” everyone seems to want to hide behind. If you received it, it’s okay with everyone to say, “We just need time to think this through.”

Great job Pine Ridge! This is a huge step in regaining the trust of the people. They really need to trust you again without playing word games. Received, accepted, rejected, thinking about it; a tiny more will go a long way, especially if it’s done in a timely manner.

Hear the tape by clicking here: TAPE

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