Marlow seat to be filled by appointment
by Michelle Babcock
May 03, 2014 01:10 AM | 1952 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kelly Marlow
Kelly Marlow
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CANTON — Applause, cheers and a standing ovation launched the first Cherokee Board of Education meeting after former member Kelly Marlow left the board earlier this week, where those in attendance also learned the election to replace her will be Nov. 4.

The school board will appoint someone in the meantime to fill the seat until Jan. 1.

Immediately after the meeting was called to order Thursday, a large crowd began cheering and clapping, continuing into a 30-second standing ovation.

The historic Canton High School Board Auditorium was packed with a standing room only crowd, full of students, parents and community leaders, for the meeting Thursday night, which began just hours after Marlow and two of her associates were sentenced to jail time and 10 years of probation for their felony convictions last Saturday.

School Board Attorney Tom Roach explained the process of filling the District 1 vacancy on the board left by Marlow when she resigned from her seat.

“The only opportunity we’ll have for a special election will be at the same time as the General Election,” Roach said, and explained the election would be Nov. 4.

In the meantime, Roach said local law allows for the board to appoint someone to fill the vacancy until Jan. 1, when a newly elected board member can be sworn in after the special election.

“I would recommend doing what is similar to what we’ve done in the past … that we solicit applications from individuals who may be interested in the seat,” Roach said.

The board agreed interested individuals should fill out an application packet, and agreed to approve the process for filling the temporary vacancy at its May 15 meeting.

The board will select the interim school board member at its June 19 meeting.

Marlow, her former political adviser and fiance, Robert Trim, and former secretary of the Cherokee County Republican Party Barbara Knowles falsely accused Petruzielo of trying to run them down with his car after a heated board meeting last year.

Knowles, who made the initial 911 call accusing Petruzielo, was charged with three felonies and one misdemeanor for lying to police, while Marlow and Trim were charged with two felonies each.

All three were sentenced to 10 years of probation, and 60 days of jail time to be served within the first year.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank Petruzielo and others could be seen wearing school bus yellow clothes at the meeting.

Petruzielo did not comment on the color of his shirt at the meeting, but the color is the same used by a local activist group to represent its fight to oust Marlow while she was on the board.

Kelly Kind Poole, of Canton, spoke to the board during the public comment portion of the meeting, and said she was relieved Marlow was off the board.

Poole’s daughter, who attends high school in the district, had spoken at previous board meetings and asked for Marlow to resign for the 39,000 children of the district.

“Although justice was served earlier today and this member is no longer present, this does not bring her, or myself, great joy,” Poole said. “We want to thank the board for their continued service, and look forward to seeing our schools back in the news for the right reasons. Thank you, and God bless you for your service.”

The audience also loudly applauded and cheered after Poole’s comments.

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