Friday, July 26, 2019

Shoulda, coulda ...

When the controversy first arose about the legality of two trustees-elect participating on the school board earlier this year (February? maybe January?), the Board should have appointed a committee to investigate and consider what was being challenged.

Did it? Not according to any action officially taken.

What should have been the composition of such a committee? Obviously, the two persons challenged should not have been on the committee. A Committee of three might have been appropriate, with at least one of them being an officer of the board.

Should the superintendent have been on the committee?

As the senior staff employee of the District and one who must work closely with the Board Chair, the superintendent should not have been designated to be on the committee. This would have protected him and helped separate his role, which was to support the Board Chair, whoever the person was.

Should one or more members of the public have been on the committee?

Perhaps one or more of the several members of the public who were complaining should have be invited to be part of such a committee. After all, they were the ones waving the flag.

Such a committee would have had to study the laws and should have obtained the advice of the legal counsel for the school district. Then the committee would have brought its findings to the full board.

And then the Board should have announced the committee's findings and stated what action it would take, if any.

At least one board member seemed to agree with the challenges that were being raised. When it came time to sign a Certificate of Incumbency and a Signature and No-Litigation Certification in connection with documents for the sale of $26,000,000 Bond Anticipation Notes, that board member's concerns were so great that she consulted with her private attorney to determine what risk, if any, there was for personal or civil liability, should she sign the documents as Board Secretary.

As a result of that consultation, she refused to sign the documents and resigned as Board Secretary on April 26, 2019.

At the school board meeting on April 30, 2019, her resignation was announced, and she explained her reasons at length. The Board was in a pickle, because it needed a Secretary to sign the documents, including the two special certifications. Board Trustee James Shadd was nominated, accepted the nomination and was elected by the Board to the office of Secretary, to complete the Secretary's term-of-office to June 30, 2019. That same night he signed the bond documents as Secretary.

Will he someday regret the "honor" of serving as successor Secretary? Will he wish he had taken time to consider exactly why the previous Secretary had resigned? Has he given thought since April 30th to the possible effect of signing a document that stated Mrs. McKie was the Board Chair and that her term of office was July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019?

When the District and the Board finally have to admit that, after all this time (since November 6, 2018), Mrs. McKie has been a trustee-elect (only) and not a Trustee, making the Certificate of Incumbency false, how will this reflect on those who signed it?

Most on the Board must hope this issue will just go away.

The Board or the District has never tried to explain to me why they are right and I'm wrong. For my part, I don't care about being "right". I do care about what is right.