Friday, May 10, 2019

The "real deal" - only it's not

This morning I came across this page on the Richland 2 website. It's titled The Real Deal.

One of the questions is

"Q: A newspaper article stated that Dr. Davis was listed on the SC Ethics Commission website as owing a fine. Is that correct? 
A: Dr. Davis was never assessed a fine by the ethics commission and was never listed on the website as owing a fine. At the February 12, 2019 School Board meeting, Dr. Davis stated that he was unaware of the requirement of "filing a Statement of Economic Interest (SEI) form within 10 days of officially becoming the superintendent in Richland Two. Instead, Dr. Davis followed the practice of his predecessors and of superintendents across the state by filing the SEI after receiving the annual notification from the Ethics Commission in December.”
"When he learned of the requirement, he self-reported this omission to the ethics commission, updated the files submitted for the 2017 calendar year that he submitted in 2018, and voluntarily paid the $100 fine."
If that answer were put through the True or False wringer, the Answer would be "Mixed".

How so?

True. Dr. Davis was never assessed a fine by the S.C. Ethics Commission.
True. Dr. Davis was never listed as owing a fine to the Ethics Commission.
True. Dr. Davis acknowledged not having filed a SEI.

FALSE. What is the so-called ten days after period?

The South Carolina Ethics Commission, according to S.C. law, requires the SEI to be filed before the appointee takes the oath of office and engages upon official duties.

Dr. Davis did mention a period of ten days following becoming the Superintendent, but that is NOT how the law reads. S.C. Code of Laws §8-13-1110(A) is crystal clear. Read it yourself. Where does it say you have ten days after...?

Wasn't the notification that Supt. Davis received in December 2018 a Notice that he had not filed a required SEI, rather than an "annual notification" that one was required? And wasn't that because The Voice newspaper had blown the whistle on District 2 officials?

The District shouldn't be writing a partial truth and calling it the "Real Deal", or Truth.

If his predecessors were wrong or other superintendents across the state of South Carolina were wrong, does that excuse the Richland 2 Superintendent? That's like saying "Well, I speed because everybody speeds."

And that's also too much like saying, "The dog ate my homework."

May 14th Agenda - Cell Tower

Attention - Parents!

The Agenda for the May 14, 2019 Board meeting contains an item for discussion during the 5:30PM Executive Session: "Contractual Matter regarding Cellphone Tower"

If you have something to say to the Board, you are have some choices:
1. Email your School Board members before the meeting;
2. Telephone your School Board members before the meeting;
3. Speak at the May 14th meeting by arriving before 6:30PM and registering to speak. You must fill out both forms!

The Board will meet to discuss the Contract before you get to speak about it.

The Board should not be taking any action on the contractual matter discussed on May 14. There is no vote scheduled.

But this may not mean anything, because there may be no action by the Board necessary for work to proceed on the tower. It may already be a done deal. The meeting held last month was an Informational Meeting. Information was provided TO you. Whatever you said at the meeting (or since) may have absolutely no consequence.

The Board should make clear exactly what the status of construction is.

Is it too late for anything you say to have any effect on construction of a cellphone tower at Kelly Mill Middle School or on the grounds of any other school in the Richland 2 School District?

May 14th Agenda - Budget Input Session

The May 14th meeting of the Richland School Board will start at 5:00PM. The only item of business is "Public Input Session: Budget".

This means, if you have anything to say to the Board about the budget for the coming school year, now is the time to step up and say it.

At the last Budget Input session, only one parent spoke.

I think parents did not know about that "opportunity" to speak. OK, so what if you have to leave work early to be there at 5:00PM. Or tell your family that they "are on their own" for dinner.

Why is the Board scheduling the Input session for 5:00PM?

Is it so the Board can say, "Well, we offered the public a chance to speak and no one showed up." Or "People ought to find the Agenda, read it and understand what we mean."

Why not have the Budget Input session at the beginning of the public session at 6:30PM?

Did the Board decide on the time? Or did Amelia McKie and the superintendent pick it?

After the 30-minute Budget Input session, the Board will hold an Executive Session from 5:30-6:30PM. The Regular Meeting of the Board will start at 6:30PM. That's this Tuesday, May 14th.