WINNSBORO — District 3 County Councilman Mikel Trapp’s repeated absences at Fairfield County Council meetings in recent months have prompted criticism from residents who insist that county officials should attend the majority of meetings
Trapp said he was not going to respond to the criticism because the complaints over his excessive absences were not coming from members of his district. Instead, Trapp maintained he was attending college with the approval of his constituents.
According to Trapp, he mailed out approximately 250 letters and received around 230 replies from constituents who, according to Trapp, said they were OK with him missing council meetings to attend pre-calculus classes at Columbia College.
According to the Fairfield County Election Commission, District 3 currently contains 2,127 registered voters.
The Herald Independent randomly called approximately 60 residents in District 3 and found that none had received a letter from Trapp pertaining to his college education or absences from county council meetings.
Trapp said he would send a copy of the letter to The Herald Independent but no letter had been sent by late Thursday despite two weeks of repeated requests that he fax, mail or email the document to the newspaper.
Interim County Administrator Milton Pope, in response to a Freedom of Information request from The Herald Independent, said the county did not have any documentation on the matter.
County council bylaws lack an attendance requirement, a point concerned residents have mentioned in county council meetings in hopes of persuading the county to change its bylaws.
When contacted about his plan to repay the county for reimbursement for tuition at Columbia College, Trapp said the reason for his repeated absences is that he is taking a pre-calculus class that meets on Monday and Wednesday nights.
Trapp said that was the only time he could work the graduation requirement into his schedule and that he did so even though the time conflicted with his attending county council meetings.
Trapp is serving his third term on county council representing District 3. Multiple efforts to reach Trapp were unsuccessful.