Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Officers for 2020-2021

At last night's final school board meeting for the 2019-2020 school year, the board elected officers for the school year starting July 1, 2020 (and ending June 30, 2021).

Chair - James Shadd
Vice Chair - Teresa Holmes
Secretary - Cheryl Caution-Parker

Each was the sole nominee for the office.

What are the problems?

For James Shadd.

According to a June 11, 2020 article in The Independent Voice of Blythewood & Fairfield County newspaper, "A Richland Two school board member has racked up more than $57,000 in county and state tax liens since 2012." That school member is James Shadd.

The Voice identified these six liens as still active:

  • December 29, 2014—$11,659.01
  • March 23, 2017—$2,573.92
  • March 30, 2017—$6,587.40
  • April 12, 2019—$10,055.91
  • April 12, 2019—$7,331.91
  • May 8, 2020—$11,958.62
For Teresa Holmes.

Holmes has never legally taken the oath of office as Trustee. She was elected on November 6, 2018 and took the oath of office - illegally - on November 13, 2018 and was allowed to begin serving on the school board. The problem is that she was not eligible to take the oath on November 13, 2018, because she had not filed her Statement of Economic Interests with the S.C. Ethics Commission.

She filed that SEI on December 4, 2018, and became eligible on that date to take the oath of office. She has not done so. Therefore, she has never become a legal member of the school board. She was ineligible to be elected for the 2019-2020 term of Vice Chair. She was re-elected, illegally, last night to the officer's position.

For Cheryl Caution-Parker:

Does she has the critical-thinking skills and backbone to stand up for her legal responsibilities as Secretary of the School Board? This means, among other things, reading the Minutes with a critical eye and calling for corrections as needed. She served as Secretary in the 2019-2020 school year and did not once do so. It also means paying close attention to the wording of motions, names of persons making and seconding motions, and voting record. Accuracy is the responsibility of the Secretary, even though it is the notetaker's (recording staff secretary) duty to prepare the Minutes.

It also means reading carefully every legal document that she is asked to sign on behalf of the school district. When she "certifies" a document, her signature is more than merely witnessing the signatures of the Chair and Superintendent. 

Will she pay closer attention during this school year?

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