Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Can a Board Allow Unofficial "Members"?

The School Board of District Two often refers to the district as a Premier district. And that it wants to be the Premier board of a premier district. To be that, it should be squeaky clean. Anything that is not totally clean should be cleared up, and quickly.

A school board is composed of  members elected by the public. The School Board of Richland School District Two is to have seven members.

A school board has awesome power, authority and responsibility. It can run your lives or it can ruin your lives, if you are students, teachers, administrators, staff or other District employees or taxpayers.

To run for election to the board, a person has to be qualified. The Election Commission sets the qualifications.

Once a person is elected, that person becomes a Trustee-elect.

To move from Trustee-elect to Trustee, that person must take an oath of office before assuming official duties. In South Carolina, the elected person must file a Statement of Economic Interests Report (SEI) with the South Carolina Ethics Commission before taking the oath of office.

If you take the oath of office before you file your SEI, the oath of office has been taken illegally. It doesn't count. It has no force or effect. Saying it does, does not make it so. No matter how many times you say it.

Once the SEI is filed, the elected person becomes eligible to take the oath of office.

Once the oath of office has been taken (after filing the SEI), only then the elected person can assume official duties.

Just about anyone can run for School Board. He or she must live in the School District and meet other general qualifications.

You don't have to be smart. You don't have to educated. You don't have to have a business background or financial knowledge. You don't have to understand accounting or spreadsheets or budgets. You don't have to have a manager's or executive's skills. You don't have to come from an educational background.

All you have to do is get one more vote than the candidate lower down in the results on Election Day.

Why is legal composition important? The Board makes decisions involving millions of dollars and affecting thousands of students and employees. Board officers sign legal documents that create huge financial obligations for the district.

All seven members must be fully and officially authorized by law to serve.

Right now, two of the seven are not. This means there are five legal members on the board and two who are not. South Carolina law calls them usurpers; they could also be called impostors or pretenders.

The five legal members of the Board should not tolerate this and should insist that the oath of office be administered legally to Amelia McKie and Teresa Holmes without further delay.

After that, the board will have the responsibility to clean up all the messes that have accumulated since November 13, 2018.