Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Parents question the cell phone tower plans

At tonight's school board meeting, parents continued to question the plans of Richland 2 to construct a cell phone tower on the grounds of Kelly Mill Middle School.

One parent told me they are having trouble getting a meeting arranged with the superintendent and getting answers to the questions about the status of that cell phone tower construction at Kelly Mill.

Based on the "information meeting" on April 24, 2019, I think it's a "done deal". I think Richland 2 contracted at some time in the past for the construction of towers on the grounds of several schools.

Tonight one of the parents told me they have filed a Freedom of Information Act Request with Richland 2, so they should be getting answers to their questions.

At the May 14, 2019 school board meeting Mrs. Agostini asked Amelia McKie for a future agenda to include a cell phone tower update. No other board member backed her up, and her request died at the table.

This school board, as presently composed, has too many followers and too few members who are demanding accountability of themselves.

Weren't they listening when the staffer presented the Leadership Development Update. I heard "Demonstrate Integrity and Character at all times."

That bears repeating.

"Demonstrate Integrity and Character at all times."

Contract has been signed

During tonight's school board meeting, during the discussion for the Agenda for the June 11, 2019 meeting, Trustee Lindsay Agostini requested the bond attorney to attend the Executive Session

Supt. Davis said, "The contract has already been signed." By the "contract" did he mean the bond documents that contacted two provisions that Mrs. Agostini had refused to sign as Board Secretary? Mrs. Agostini was seeking information from the bond attorney (and the Administration) about why the Board had not been briefed on the documents and, especially, on the two questionable provisions that resulted in her resignation as Board Secretary at the end of April.

Trustee Elkins-Johnson said the Board should get an explanation when one is requested.

Trustee Caution-Parker asked if the District would have to pay for the bond attorney to attend and said it was a "waste of time".

The Board voted on whether to invite the bond attorney to the Executive Session. The vote was 3-3; a tie meant it failed. BUT the correct vote 2-2, when the votes of McKie and Holmes are tossed. But that was still a Fail.

Then the Board voted to approve the Agenda for the June 11, 2019 meeting (without the bond attorney). That vote was 4-2 (Passed), BUT the true vote (without votes of McKie and Holmes) was 2-2, a tie, which meant that it Failed.

Here's the problem, as I see it. I don't have any "inside" information. All I know if what I have heard at public meetings. Anyone who attended or who has watched the meetings on YouTube knows as much as I know about it.

The Board apparently did not get to review the bond documents that it was being asked to authorize.

The Board didn't get to read, review and question to the special additional paragraphs. Those were the Certificate of Incumbency and the Signature and No-Litigation Certificate.

Apparently, the Board never saw or considered a Resolution that would authorize the Board Chair and the Board Secretary to sign those documents on behalf of Richland School District Two.

The Certificate of Incumbency stated that Amelia McKie is the Board Chair and that her term-of-office as Board Chair is July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019. Those statements are false.

The Signature and No-Litigation Certificate was designed to relieve bondholders of worries about significant legal woes related to Amelia McKie's problems with the Ethics Commission. Factually, that Certificate was correct, insofar as it went. But it didn't go far enough. It was incomplete and misleading.

When one certificate is false and the other is incomplete and misleading, that can only mean trouble ahead for a $468,000,000 set of public-finance bonds.

It is going to take a strong legal step to correct the problems that have been allowed to continue since November 13, 2018.