Friday, January 17, 2020

Two board members should resign

The State newspaper published a story today about $1,400 in unpaid fines owed to the South Carolina Ethics Commission by James Shadd III, who is a trustee on the board. Shadd is serving the last year of a 2016-2020 term,

According to reporter Lucas Daprile, the Ethics Commission assessed this fine for Shadd's failure to file 14 quarterly Campaign Disclosure Reports related to his 2010 run for 5th Circuit Solicitor.

According to the article, Shadd was warned by the Ethics Commission in January 2019 and again in March 2019. The fine was assessed on December 30, 2019.

How is it that an elected official who owes fines even for an unrelated run for a different office does not just pay what he owes.

The article also comments on the $51,750 in fines and fees owed by Amelia McKie, who is a trustee-elect of the school board. I write "trustee-elect" (rather than trustee) because she has never taken the oath of office legally.

McKie and Shadd should "do the right thing" and clear out. In Shadd's case he should resign.

In McKie's case, the District and the Board should stop denying the facts and the very clearly-worded state law and block her from further duties, responsibilities and pay. McKie is usurping public office.

The laws are in place to remove her, but the South Carolina Office of Attorney General will not act to remove her.

The new Debtors' List on the Ethics Commission's website ( is dated 1/13/2020 and includes the debts of both Shadd and McKie. The total owed the Ethics Commission is a whopping $2,762,979.31. Every dollar should be collected!

Text messages subject to FOIA?

When a school board trustee receives text messages and/or email during the public portion of the school board meeting and replies to them, are those messages subject to FOIA?

During the January 7, 2019 Special-Called Board Meeting Trustee Caution-Parker received multiple messages on her cell phone.

Beginning at 1:38:55 on the video-recording, her cell phone screen lit up while she was away from her Board Chair. A second message came in as she returned to her chair.

She can be seen reading it, scrolling through messages and tapping out a reply.

How does the Secretary of the school board pay attention to what is being said in the meeting, when she is paying attention to her phone?

And, worse, she then voted on a motion. Did she have any idea what she voting on?

Is there a Board Policy about use of cell phones, including texting, by Board members during public meetings?

I wonder what the Robert's Rules of Order expert would have to say about this at her next advisory session with the Board.

Board members should put away their cell phones during Board meetings, whether the meeting is open or closed.

Senate Rules. Good enough for Board?

The Rules for the Senate's impeachment trial of President Trump have been published.

If they are good enough for the U.S. Senate, are they good enough for the Richland 2 School Board?

Take a look at the rules as published by Business Insider.

Keep quiet.

Stay off iPhones. Check electronic devices outside the room.

Remain seated.

No side-conversations.

Attend all proceedings.

No outside reading materials.

Some of these would be good rules for Board meetings.