AL.com report: Baldwin County seeks guidance from Alabama Attorney General on board member's eligibility

October 24, 2017

By John Sharp | jsharp@al.com

Angie Swiger lives in Gulf Shores and wants to continue serving on the Baldwin County School Board.

But less than one month after the Gulf Shores City Council voted unanimously to split away from the county system and form its own city school, a question has surfaced: Is Swiger eligible to serve?

The Baldwin County School Board, in the approval of a resolution Thursday, wants Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall to weigh in. The resolution requests guidance from Marshall's office on whether Swiger can serve and, if not, at what time does she become ineligible.

"I owe it to the citizens of my district who have elected me twice and who have entrusted me to make certain that the children and parents of Gulf Shores (as well as the children and parents of the rest of my district) have my unwavering representation," said Swiger, whose term ends in November 2020. "That representation is my first priority and my only focus at this point in time."

Swiger's district includes Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan, Orange Beach, and parts of Elberta, Magnolia Springs, Perdido Beach and Lillian.

Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon wants Swiger to step down. He said that Swiger's allegiance is to Gulf Shores, which is currently in the process of taking applications to its new city school board. The new board will be unveiled after Thanksgiving.

"She doesn't live in the district any longer and, as far as I'm concerned, her allegiance is to Gulf Shores and the city school system and she should resign, period," said Kennon, whose coastal Alabama city also makes up Swiger's county board district. "You cannot serve two masters, period."

Marshall's office declined to comment.

Swiger, who was first elected to the county school board 2007, said earlier this month she would consider serving on the city school board. The period to apply for one of the five openings on the new city school board is at 5 p.m. Oct. 30.

Grant Brown, a city of Gulf Shores spokesman, said that residents wanting to apply need to do it in person at the Gulf Shores municipal annex building. "It's a formal process," he said, adding that as of early last week, at least 15 people had inquired.

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Meanwhile, in Orange Beach, Kennon and other city leaders will host a town hall meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 7, at the Orange Beach Event Center. Among the topics scheduled to be discussed is the future of a $14.9 million new school, which will be paid for by the Baldwin County School System. 

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