Thursday, July 23, 2020

More on Holmes' 7/21/20 Attack

Now that the July 21, 2020 school board meeting video has been posted to YouTube, it was possible to listen again to trustee-elect Teresa Holmes' vicious attack on Trustee Lindsay Agostini.

Mrs. Agostini had asked proper, intelligent questions about the proposed policy that was under discussion.

In his defensive response the superintendent had sniped at Mrs. Agostini.

At approximately 1:06:43 on the recording, Holmes jumped in with "Mr. Chaaaiiiiirrrrr."

Then she led off with how she had been sitting there and listening to "this" and she just "had to" say what she was about it say. First of all, she didn't have to say it, but she intended to.

Holmes proceeded down the path of its not being a board member's job to run the day-to-day operation of a school.

She neglected to comprehend that Mrs. Agostini had NOT tried to run the day-to-day operation of a school. Mrs. Agostini had asked for one email that was sent to staff that did not agree with a board decision on certain monies to be spend by the end of the fiscal year, June 30.

Such an inquiry is fully within the scope and duty of a Board Trustee.

But Holmes kept hammering away on something that Mrs. Agostini had not even done, and she said it louder and longer as if that would be sufficient to persuade the public that Mrs. Agostini had acted improperly.

And then Holmes, as had (trustee-elect) McKie at a recent board meeting, tried to lecture Mrs. Agostini on the role of a board member. My guess is that Holmes hasn't even read Board Policy BBA - Board Powers and Duties, where there are 11 topics enumerated as board powers and duties. It's far beyond selecting and retaining a superintendent.

Board Chair Shadd should have cut off Holmes. But he didn't. Why not? Because Holmes is one of the votes that put him into the Chair's seat for this school year. Shadd would do well to put a stop to the long, rambling, defensive statements by the superintendent (just answer the question in as few words as possible) and the back-biting by at least three of the board members toward to the "minority".

Richland 2 voters and taxpayers deserve to have knowledgeable people on the board. If the threshold for board election were "knowledgeable", at least three of them would be left in the dust on the side of the road.

McKie and $51,750 Judgment

On July 10, 2019 the South Carolina Ethics Commission filed a $51,750 judgment against (Richland 2 trustee-elect) Amelia McKie in Richland County Common Pleas Court.

This is July 23, 2020. What has happened in court in the past year?

According to online public records, absolutely nothing!

If you think that the Ethics Commission shouldn't "file it and forget it", contact the S.C. Ethics Commission at 803-253-4192. Or you can write. And call your State Senator and Representative and ask him to help the State collect that money. And call the S.C. Department of Revenue (DOR), which is supposed to be collecting it on behalf of the Ethics Commission.

What could the DOR grab? 1. Her pay from the Richland 2 School District. A garnishment would certainly look great on her C.V., wouldn't it?

2. How about her other income? Oh, you say, what other income?
3. Is there equity in her home that could be attached?
4. Does she have a car that could be sold?

That $51,750 didn't just pop out of the ground one spring day like an early flower.

McKie didn't file required documents in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. She had fair warning of fines and fees and still didn't make any payment(s).

If McKie began making monthly payments on that debt, with a plan to pay it off by the time her elected term ends in November 2022, she would have to pay $1.917 monthly! If she sought bankruptcy protection, would she be forced to resign from the school board? Could she even "resign", since she is not a legitimate member of the board?

But is the Ethics Commission really just a toothless public body, when it comes to collecting monies owned to it? The public Debtors List as of April 3, 2020 is 26 pages and totals $2,717,416.32.

The big question is why isn't the Ethics Commission either muscling the DOR to collect that money or hiring an outside collection agency to go after the debtors.

A request has been sent to S.C. Sen. Mia McLeod and S.C. Rep. Ivory Thigpen to find out from the DOR what steps it is taking to collect this debt and to let me know by August 7. It's not so much that I want to know, but I believe that you should know.

Who are the "babies"?

Near the end of the July 21, 2020 school board meeting trustee-elect Amelia McKie once again mentioned the "babies".

She said "rally around our babies", and then she said, "educate our babies".

About whom is she speaking? Is she referring to high school students? Middle school students? Elementary school students? Ask a third-grader how she feels about being a considered a "baby" by a school board trustee.

Is Richland 2 in the daycare business?

That meeting was not the first time she has referred to Richland 2 students as "babies".

Every time it happens in the future, there should be a loud roar from the parents, teachers, other staff and the community that those being educated by Richland 2 are students.

What does calling the boys and girls, and young men and women, of Richland 2 "babies" have to say about the emotional growth and development of McKie? What kind of counseling or coaching does she need? Has even one of the other trustees or the superintendent said, "You know, Amelia, calling our students :babies" is demeaning"?

If Teresa Holmes wants to be offended by something, as she claimed at the July 21st meeting, let her be offended by "babies".Holmes is a high school counselor and loves to call herself "Dr. Holmes." Of course, Teresa and Amelia are best buds. Weren't they in the "in group", the Squad, that elected the officers for the 2020-2021 board by a pre-arranged vote?

Is Holmes offended by McKie's judgment in Richland County Common Pleas Court for $51,750 owed to the South Carolina Ethics Commission?