The Southern Standard, by Duane Sherrill —
A new board was put in place for Families in Crisis following a ballot battle Monday evening which saw 103 due paying members show up to vote.
While most there stated the future of Families in Crisis was their main goal, there was an obvious polarization between supporters and opponents of present shelter director Tammie Gribble, whose fate is still uncertain following the installation of an 11-member board.
The showdown came after several members of the former board were voted out of office recently in a surprise move organized by staff members at the shelter. The staff members said problems at Families in Crisis were not being addressed by the former board, their main concern being the leadership ability of Gribble. They have called for her resignation, citing four pages of grievances against her.
Phyllis Hillis, former member of the board, said the board met with employees in May and were not advised of the problems. She believes the women are disgruntled workers who went outside the chain of command in an effort to get their way. The staffers believe they are whistle-blowers who are pointing out problems at Families in Crisis.
It was the same swelling of the membership rolls from the original vote which again happened Monday night at the county government building when scores of new members paid their $15 dues to vote in the board election.
According to local attorney Robert Newman, who is advising FIC on their by-laws, the board must be made up of from nine to 15 members. Going into Monday night, there were just five members including Cindy Rogers, Neva Boyd, Betty Hallum, Jessica Johnson and Patty Davenport.
A printed ballot was prepared containing the names of seven candidates for the board Monday night. However, there were then nominations from the floor, most, if not all, which were made by opponents of Gribble. And it was the opponents who won out, with five of the floor nominations winning write-in campaigns including Libby Beckwith, Karen Morrison, Ric Kincaide, Amber Hobbs and Louis Correa. Only Cheryl Mingle won from the pre-printed ballot. To be elected, candidates had to get a majority of the 103-votes cast.
While the nominations from the floor carried the evening, it is not known how the entire 11-member board will vote when it comes to appointing officers and perhaps taking action on who will be director of the facility. The board is set to meet on the third Tuesday of this month to put together the officer board.
In the meantime, business is continuing as normal at Families in Crisis with both Gribble and the staffers who want her resignation, working under the same roof.