Tuesday, September 21, 2021

$20 Technology Fee? A profit center?

(Click to enlarge)

This Notice was posted for website visitors at Rice Creek Elementary to see first-thing.

In case you can't read the fine print, the mandatory $20 annual fee pays for the first repair for accidental damage and for replacement, if the device is stolen and reported to law enforcement. It does not replace a lost device.

How many computers or similar devices does Richland 2 hand out? 28,000?

At $20/year each, that's $560,000.

Is this fund self-insured? If not, it ought to be, because it could probably provide a $400,000 profit to Richland 2. 

Can parents see a report on the Richland 2 website about fees vs. expenses? Could the fund still be profitable at $10/year? or less?

How big of a profit-center is the $20 annual Technology Fee?

Monday, September 20, 2021

Who defamed whom?

Does Teresa Holmes have any idea what defamation is? 

Start listening when Trustee McFadden begins her explanation for not wanting to vote on the superintendent’s proposed revised contract at the Sept. 14th meeting. That’s at 1:29:40

Listen especially to the argument at 1:32:20 on the recording, when Holmes accused McFadden of defaming board members. McFadden was explaining about how late she received the proposed revised contract for the superintendent, and she said, “We already know they got four that are going to vote for it.”

Holmes not only interrupted her, but Holmes argued and asserted that McFadden was defaming The Four (Holmes, McKie, Caution-Parker, Manning) by saying that. McFadden was not!

You can also hear Holmes apparently talking to someone near her, although her words are not clearly audible on the recording. McFadden heard her, though.

Proper and courteous procedure is that you don’t interrupt the person who is speaking, even if you don't agree with them. One board member, not even the chair, is not to argue with another; yet that’s exactly what Holmes does. Holmes is supposed to maintain order; instead, she causes even more disruption.

Where in the world does Holmes get “defaming other board members”, when she hears McFadden say that she know four who are already planning to vote for the revised contract I wish McFadden had not apologized. No apology was needed. 

When McKie referred to McFadden’s comments as “pretty juvenile”, was that defamatory?

Holmes' "door" only swings one way.

Why "The Three" Should Boycott 9/22 Meeting

There are good reasons for "The Three" to boycott the Special-Called Meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 22.

1. There is no emergency. It's not like the superintendent will miss a few meals, if he doesn't get a raise.
2. The superintendent's proposed revised contract is the only item on the agenda.
3. The superintendent put himself before the important issues facing the School District, when he said on Sept. 14, "It would be the recommendation of the superintendent for the board chair to consider a special-called board meeting with only the superintendent's contract on that board meeting..." 

In other words, "Pick me. Pick me. Pick me."

Perhaps the most important reason for "The Three" to skip that meeting would be to begin re-training "The Four" and the superintendent to pay more attention to "The Three" and to furnish complete information on a timely basis to them before all board meetings.

Upon information and belief, Tuesday night was not the first time that the trustees (the minority group) have had trouble getting all the information on which to make a decision.

A board member should have to ask only once for information. Repeated requests should not be necessary. Nor should it be necessary to ask again and again for more details. Complete information should be provided to all at the same time. If there are updates, they should be given to all at the same time.

By skipping Wednesday night's meeting, the message to the board chair and the superintendent (and the vice chair) would be, "Don't mess around with us." 

So make the superintendent wait his turn. 

On the meeting video for Sept. 14 at 1:33:20, you can hear McKie try to position herself with her 26,000 fans (voters) by falsely saying she is not one of "they" (she surely is!) and trying to console the parents about their not getting reports that night on student appeals, student __(unintelligible)____ center, the Proviso 1.108, 6th grade advantage, Spanish language, update on COVID, draft agenda for the next meeting, that night's Public Participation speakers. McKie rattled those off so quickly it was hard to follow and type.

So, why did Holmes call a special meeting for the superintendent's contract, instead of one or more of those more important issues??? 

Every one of the issues on the Sept. 14 agenda is more important than revising his already-lucrative contract.

Just in case you are wondering ...

"The Three" are Agostini, Scott, McFadden

"The Four" are Holmes, McKie, Caution-Parker, Manning

COVID Update by Supt.

If you haven't seen this yet, here is the superintendent's 9/17/2021 COVID update. www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFvuVGJq8ak

B-U-T I must add that I did NOT like his introduction!

He says that he/they have heard from some Richland 2 family members that they tuned into the September 14th board meeting to hear the COVID update. He continues,

"Some of (nearly unintelligible) the Richland Two board of trustees, along with myself, sincerely regret that we were unable to update you on Tuesday. So, we wanted to bring the information directly to you with this video. We want to take this time to thank you for taking time out of your schedule to watch it..." 

Sorry. Wrong words! His words cause the viewer to think that someone "else" was at fault - was responsible for the breakdown on Tuesday night. Someone else caused the meeting to stop and prevented the update. Regret is a "feelings" word. The board deals with information, facts and accuracy. Boards don't have "feelings".

Well, that isn't the way it was.

First, do (all?) "members of the board of trustees" regret that the meeting was cut short? No, four of them might. I had to listen to it 4-5 times to understand "Some of the Richland Two board of trustees..." So he isn't speaking for all; he's not speaking for the board, but only for some of the board.

Who authorized him to speak for the board and in that way? Hint: No one did. No one could. The meeting ended with no action being taken.

Place the fault where it belongs. The flow of information about the superintendent's negotiated proposed revised contract was distributed in a sporadic, ill-timed and uneven manner. Not everyone got the same information at the same time.

A flurry of phone calls on Monday and Tuesday meant that everyone did not get the same information at the same time. And maybe not even the same information (unless it was a recorded message).

From what McKie said on Sept. 14 she got the information and well ahead of the meeting. Well, she is part of the "they". And how would she know who got what and when? Manning seemed to manage the information distribution and flow. McKie had just heard, if she was listening, that Agostini, Scott and McFadden DID NOT get information early enough to digest it. Was she choosing not to believe what the three had just said?

What the superintendent should have said was, "Here is up-to-date information on COVID."  If he wasn't going to lay the blame squarely and honestly on those responsible for the distribution of information about what he wants in his revised contract, he should have left that out.

And why didn't he just say "Some members of the Board and I regret..." He's a guy who got $1,400 for two speeches in 2020. Is there an English teacher who can help him?

Open Letter to Board re Robert's Rules

 The following email has been sent to the five legal board members and trustees-elect Holmes and McKie.


Members of the Board and trustees-elect Holmes and McKie,

On November 19, 2019 Attorney Helen McFadden conducted a workshop on Robert's Rules of Order.

In view of the chaotic board meeting on September 14, 2021, at which a quorum was lost when three trustees walked out, I urge you to contract Attorney McFadden to return with additional and intensive training.

Please pay her to view the entire meeting (the public meeting re-convenes at 1:14:08 on www.livestream.com/richland2) and to train, direct and coach the board how to conduct a meeting properly.

Sincerely,

Resident, Richland School District Two
www.richland2.info
847.971.7083

The Value of Video-recorded Meetings

The video-recording of the September 14, 2021 regular board meeting would make a great Case Study in "How Not to Run a Board Meeting". See it at www.livestream.com/richland2

At 1:36:39 Teresa Holmes, acting as chair (even though she is not a legitimate member of the board and cannot serve legitimately as chair) says that, as chair and in her 30 years as an educator, "I've never seen this happen before."

The important question is, What was the connection between what happened in that meeting and her sitting in the chair's seat?

The board desperately needs training in how to conduct board meetings and in the application of Robert's Rules of Order. 

On November 19, 2019 the board held a special-called meeting (workshop) that included training by Attorney Helen McFadden, an expert in Robert's Rules of Order. The board would be well-advised to get her back ASAP for further training.

If Attorney McFadden (no relation to Trustee Lashonda McFadden) sat with the board, played the video-recording of the September 14th meeting and stopped it every time something wrong was said or done, they'd be there for eight hours. Maybe longer.

A Richland 2 staffer could not conduct such a training, unless it was on her last day at work. It will take a person who is completely independent of the District. Pay Attorney McFadden $1,500 and give her free rein.

Richland 2 should appoint an independent Parliamentarian to attend meetings. All trustees should agree that they will listen to, respect, and accept the decisions of the parliamentarian. 

Staff attorney Karla Hawkins was asked on September 14 about whether a secondary motion was germane to the primary motion. That's not a legal question; that's a parliamentary question. And her answer, "It could go either way", was not correct. A correct answer would have been Yes or No. It is, or it isn't. 

Watch Holmes Disrespect McFadden

This story is about the September 14, 2021 Regular Board Meeting. View it at www.livestream.com/richland2

As I looked this morning for the superintendent's request on September 14th for a special-called board meeting consider the proposed revised contact, I happened to watch again the portion of the Sept. 14th meeting when Trustee Scott left the meeting, followed by Trustee Agostini.

At 1:23:40 Holmes erroneously ruled that Agostini's secondary motion is not germane to McKie's motion to approve that night's agenda. Wow! Nothing could have been more germane than Agostini's motion!

At 1:23:57 Trustee Scott expresses her displeasure with what is happening and leaves the meeting. She mentions "giving Dr. Davis a raise", which reveals to the public what was discussed in executive session and provides important insight into her solid reasoning about not participating further in the meeting.

At 1:25:54 Trustee Agostini asks to be recognized. She states that she is in agreement with Dr. Elkins-Scott and that she will be leaving the meeting.

At 1:26:32 Trustee McFadeen asks to be recognized.

NOW, HERE IS THE INSULT ISSUED BY THE CHAIR:

Holmes says, "Just a second, Ms. McFadden. I'm sure you are going to join the rest."

A board member should have immediately jumped on Holmes about that. But, other than Mrs. McFadden, who was left? Only "The Four" - Holmes, Manning, McKie and Caution-Parker. Since Holmes was not going to object to her disrespectful, snide, unprofessional, snarky words, that left Manning, McKie and Caution-Parker, and not one of them could be counted on to step up and demand an apology to Mrs. McFadden.

Holmes then asks Manning to speak. Wrong! McFadden was next in line.

Mrs. McFadden continues to ask to be recognized. Watch Queen Holmes continue to shut her down. That was out-of-order. Holmes correct choice would have been to recognize McFadden, but she knew what was coming. An end to the meeting, because there would no longer be a quorum.

At 1:29:39 Mrs. McFadden is finally recognized. She states her objections about short timing. She refers to a list of what the superintendent wanted in his new contract. It wasn't provided to her. Holmes interrupts McFadden with mumbling. 

Holmes again improperly interrupted McFadden, after she said, "We already know we got four that's going to vote for it (the contract)." Holmes argued with McFadden, while she had the floor. Holmes had not authority to interrupt, argue and challenge McFadden. Holmes didn't like what McFadden was saying and attempted to shut her down. It didn't work. Listen to McFadden's strong remarks. Firm, polite, straight-forward.

If Holmes had not spoken to McFadden as she did, if she had not argued with her and treated her like a child, McFadden probably would have stayed in the meeting. Then finally McKie's motion to approve the agenda would have been voted on, and the vote would have been 4-1; that is, 4 Yea, 1 Nay, 0 Abstain, 2 Not Present at Vote.

At 1:33:22 McKie was recognized. Watch McKie's sad refrain when she tries to get herself out of the "they" group. McKie is squarely in line with "The Four", what I call "the cabal" or "The Squad". Squarely! 

Then Manning responded to McFadden's remarks about the Proviso. His comments were out-of-order; they were not germane to the motion. He should have been interrupted, but Holmes does not know enough about parliamentary procedures to know when and how to cut off unrelated remarks.

While McKie is rambling away or Manning is speaking, McFadden packs up and leaves.

But with McFadden's departure, there was no longer a quorum.

Still, it took another 15 minutes until the meeting was adjourned at 1:49:05.

Holmes rambled on in a Point of Privilege.

Oh, yes, when did the superintendent ask for a special-called meeting, so he could get his raise?

At 1:39:28 the superintendent informed Holmes that there was no quorum and they would have to adjourn. 

In a boring, low-toned monotone, he explained the board policy about adjourning when no quorum, and he continued right on with "It would be the recommendation of the superintendent for the board chair to consider a special-called board meeting with only the superintendent's contract on that board meeting..."

CAN YOU BELIEVE HIS GALL IN PROMOTING HIMSELF THAT WAY IN FRONT OF THE PUBLIC?

Remember how "they" say it's all for the children? Seriously? His raise is more important than the health and safety of the children?