Friday, May 24, 2019

Board members: review Policy BEDL

Certain Richland 2 Board members should take a few minutes and review Policy BEDL Board Members and Electronic Communications.

This Policy pertains to the use of devices such as cell phones, tablets, computers, etc. for communication during meetings with the public.

At the budget input meetings held recently, several board members spent time with their electronic devices and appeared to be reading messages and texting or emailing.

Those were public meetings and are subject to FOIA. As such, all communications are public. The audience cannot read what a board member is reading or writing on an electronic device.

Also, all communications should be audible; i.e., spoken into the microphones so that the voice is amplified and can be heard throughout the room. This rules out "side" conversations.

If you watch the videorecording of the May 20, 2019 on YouTube, the first 30 minutes is the budget input period, followed by the Special Called Board meeting at 5:30PM. Note the number of times electronic devices are in use and also how you cannot hear any of the conversations among the board members during that public meeting.

Cell Phone Tower Update - Kelly Mill MS

What is the status of the proposed cell phone tower at Kelly Mill Middle School, located at 1141 Kelly Mill Road, Blythewood?

Following are the recent official comments from the Administration and the School Board about that tower:

"                                                                                                                                 "

That's it. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. Ничего.

There was a public information meeting on April 24. The meeting room at the Sandhills Library was packed, and almost everyone thought that their attendance, questions and concerns would be considered by the School Board. Near the end the audience was reminded that it was an "information" meeting. In other words, the purpose of the meeting was to give information. One District staffer was present. No school board member attended.

Few understood that their input that night was little more than words that would never be considered.

At the May 14, 2019 School Board meeting Trustee (and former Board Secretary) Lindsay Agostini asked Mrs. McKie to put a cell phone tower update on the Agenda for a future meeting. To hear her request, watch the video-recording of the May 14th meeting on YouTube. Fast-forward to (3:38:03) on the time-counter.

Be sure to watch this segment of the long board meeting. Supt. Davis finished his lengthy oration about the agenda proposed for May 28 at (3:36:41) on the YouTube recording's time-counter. During his recitation McKie was busy fanning herself; it was not hot in the room. Is she well? Then there was a 20-second delay while McKie stared at her tablet and scrolled forward. During that time she kept Mrs. Agostini waiting.

The Agenda for the May 28, 2019 school board meeting has been published on the District 2 website. There is NO cell phone tower update.

If you want to know the status of the planned cell phone tower at Kelly Mill Middle School, send your written request to Supt. Davis at  Be specific about what you want to know. You might want to ask:

Does the cell phone tower at Kelly Mill MS require any further approval by the School Board before construction begins?
When will construction begin?
When will construction be complete?
When will the cell tower go into operation?
How many more cell towers can be built on Richland 2 school grounds without further school board approval?
When was the contract executed for the cell phone towers?
And for how many towers?

Do you want the Board to make a public statement (cell phone tower update) at a school board meeting? Email the superintendent and put your request in writing. Refer to Board Policy BEDH as your authority to make your request. Also, email your school board members.

Board Policy BEDH reads, in part,

"Citizens wanting an item to be placed on the agenda for a specific board meeting should direct requests to the superintendent or board chairman. A citizen must submit a written request for an item to be placed on the agenda a minimum of three business days prior to a scheduled meeting of the board. That request will state the name of the individual or group submitting the request, the address, the purpose of the request, and the topic to be addressed."