Sunday, January 12, 2020

1/7/20 Board Vote w/o Quorum Present

During Tuesday's meeting the Board went through many policy revisions.

After 1 hour 37 minutes, Trustee Caution-Parker had left her chair, leaving five Board members seated. McKie was absent for the entire meeting. With Caution-Parker's having stepped away from the Board area, there was no longer a quorum present (legally). She stepped away while the camera was on staff member Mr. Smith, who was requesting that one Policy revision be pulled for further work.

When it was time to vote on a minor revision to Policy JLCDC Food Allergies, the vote was called to be by show of hands. The Chair announced that the vote was unanimous/ But there was a problem.

Caution-Parker was no longer present, which meant a quorum was no longer present. No acknowledgement was made of her having stepped away. The (four) legal board members remaining at the tables were Manning, Agostini, Elkins-Johnson and Shadd.

Teresa Holmes was still there, but she is not a legal member of the board, having never taken the oath of office legally after filing the required Statement of Economic Interests Report with the South Carolina Ethics Commission on December 4, 2018.

So a majority of the board was present, but a quorum was not. When a quorum (five) is not present, the board cannot conduct business; i.e., it cannot vote.

This further emphasizes the importance of correcting this serious defect in board composition.

In watching the video-recording of the board meeting I wondered whether Caution-Parker was ill. She had contributed nothing to the meeting and merely sat in her chair with her outer garment pulled up around her. An opinion from one skilled in body language might explain Caution-Parker's degree of interest in this meeting. As Secretary of the Board, she should be paying sharp attention to the entire proceedings. She receives a sizable sum of money for attending board meetings.

At a recent meeting Mrs. Agostini asked for the Board to recognize late arrivals and early exits of board members. When Caution-Parker left her chair, that should have been noted. Since Caution-Parker is the Secretary, will she see that the appropriate notation in made in the Minutes for the meeting?