Monday, May 20, 2019

May 20 Special Called Board Meeting

There were eight community members, including some Richland 2 employees, at tonight's School Board meeting, which started at 5:30PM.

For a thirty-minute period prior to this meeting, there was a public hearing on the budget. One person spoke.

How did Richland 2 publicize this meeting? Did it?

On the official Meetings webpage of the District, the Special Called Board Meeting was posted. HOWEVER, it did not state the 5:30PM Starting Time. The announcement contained the boiler-plate language. Here is how the webpage read:


Upcoming Meeting:

   Tuesday, May 20, 2019
   Special Called Meeting

When — The School Board meets twice monthly on the second and fourth Tuesdays. Executive session at 5:30 p.m., and public session begins at 6:30 p.m. Special meetings, work sessions and hearings are held when necessary.
On the way out I was approached by a woman who was showing up for the Board meeting. Imagine her disappointment at having made the trip to R2i2, only to find the meeting was over!

Various members of the Board engaged in private conversations during the 5:00-5:30PM budget input session, since no one else spoke. Other board members were observed reading their phones.

Whose job is it to teach the board members how to conduct themselves during public meetings? There should be NO side conversations. Everything said by a board member should be spoken loudly enough to be heard throughout the room and on the YouTube recording. There should be no use of cell phones during meetings; no texting - sent or received; no email usage, because the public cannot know whether the content has to do with the meeting.

Freedom of Information Act rules apply. No secret conversations during board meetings. Whatever an official says at a public meeting is public and should be heard by all. It's called transparency.

New Board officers - June election

The time is fast approaching for the Richland 2 School Board to elect its Officers for the 2019-2020 school year. That election will be on June 25, 2019 at the Regular school board meeting. The officers are elected by the board members. Note: there are, at this time, five legal school board members and two legal vacancies.

Current officers are
Chair - Amelia McKie *
Vice Chair - Monica Elkins-Johnson
Secretary - James Shadd

* The legitimacy of the current occupant in the Chair's role has been under fire since January 2019. Amelia McKie owes $51,750 in fines and penalties to the S.C. Ethics Commission, as of 5/20/19. She took the oath of office on November 13, 2018 in violation of S.C. Code of Laws 8-13-1110(A), before she was legally eligible to take the oath. McKie's term of office as a Board Member and as Chair legally ended on November 6, 2018.

The Officers' term-of-office is July 1 to June 30. The next term-of-office for Officers will not be interrupted by an election.

The School Board members and their current terms-of-office are
Lindsay Agostini (2016-2020)
Monica Elkins-Johnson (2016-2020)
James Shadd (2016-2020)
Cheryl Caution-Parker (2018-2022)
Teresa Holmes (2018-2022)
James Manning (2018-2022)
Amelia McKie (2018-2022)

I hope that the Board might consider these Trustees for positions as Officers:
Chair: James Manning
Vice Chair Monica Elkins-Johnson
Secretary Lindsay Agostini

They have the experience and the integrity to do the job right.

Edited 5/25/19