Horry County School Board member argues meeting that excluded some members was ‘unethical’

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – A meeting held Friday with some Horry County officials and school board members is raising concerns with those who were not invited.

Horry County School board member, Holly Heniford, said she was at the meeting, along with school board members John Poston, Janice Morreale and Shanda Allen. Others in attendance were Horry County Councilman Al Allen, who Heniford said called her about the meeting, Horry County Police Chief Joseph Hill, county administrator Chris Eldridge and county attorney, Arrigo Carotti. The meeting was held at

The meeting was held at Allen’s business in Conway.

“I didn’t have a problem going to the meeting,” says Heniford. “I didn’t ask who was going to be there. I didn’t really care who was going to be there, just glad there were leadership people there to discuss it in a relaxed environment.”

Heniford said the reason for the meeting was to discuss the issue of school resource officers given the recent proposal by the county that would force Horry County Schools to pay 90% of the SROs salary. Currently, the school district and police department split the salary of all SROs 50 / 50.

“Nothing was decided,” Heniford confirms. “One of the things that came from the meeting that I thought was very successful is to do a daily breakdown of the costs; look at a year and break it down to a day.”

News13 reached out to every school board member to ask if they were invited or knew about the meeting. Chris Hardwick, Janet Graham, Ray Winters, Neil James, Sherri Todd and Chairman Joe DeFeo said they were not aware of the meeting on Friday.

“I wasn’t invited,” said school board member, Sherrie Todd. “To me, it would be more of a secret meeting for the simple fact that everybody was not notified and I just think it was very unethical to have a meeting without all board members knowing about it.”

News13 asked Heniford if it was a secret meeting.

“No, if it was, it wasn’t to my knowledge,” Heniford claims. “I didn’t take it as a secret meeting, but it wasn’t my meeting. I was just glad to be there to put in input because my direction is about the kids.”

News13 reached out to Councilman Allen to ask why certain people were invited but we have not received a response.

Vice Chairman of the school board, Neil James, said he thought it was inappropriate that Chairman DeFeo didn’t know about the meeting.

“Apparently some members were selected arbitrarily to go and nobody else knew anything about it,” James says.

Heniford said she was just happy to have a seat at the table to discuss ideas.

“To come up with the ideas for a solution,” Heniford states. “It’s a process, and you have to start somewhere, and we’ve got to talk. So, why not talk over coffee and donuts?”

No one we spoke with said there was a legal issue with the meeting, they just wanted to know about it.