Tuesday, September 22, 2020

How to Shorten School Board Meetings

Richland 2 School Board meetings could be shortened to one hour; maybe to 90 minutes - max. How?

Eliminate the long-winded, unnecessary introductions of the Inspirational Moment. By the way, it's not spelled INSPRIATIONAL. That should have been corrected after the last meeting.

Limit the Inspirational Moment to a "moment"; say, 90-120 seconds.

Wake up some of the board members so that, when the Chair calls for a routine Motion, somebody pipes up. It's just a motion. You're not signing up for after-school duty.

Eliminate unnecessary, extraneous, long-winded statements by board members. Say what you've got to say, keep it on topic, and zip it.

Limit the superintendent to ten minutes for his reports. Tell him not to read to people who can read and not to repeat himself. Set a timer. When it dings, he gets the red light.

Tell the superintendent to stop sniping at Trustee Agostini. He works for her; not the other way around. She asked him a question. To answer with something like "I covered that in my Facebook LIVE", insinuating that she should have spent her time watching the Baron Davis Show, was disrespectful.

Same for staffers. Ten minutes. Or less.

Limit board members' remarks to those that contribute to the conversation. Eliminate rambling. 

As soon as a board member says she'll keep it short, start a timer. It's not necessary to ramble on and on about the COVID-19 count worldwide, in the U.S. and in South Carolina. It's in The State every day.

Board members, let the Chair do his job. The Chair can thank speakers, teachers. Don't usurp his role.

Was it really necessary for the Chair to wish former board member Chip Jackson a happy birthday for tomorrow? He died on August 7.

Capital Improvements Report

If you want to know how your $468,000,000 from the 2018 bond issue is being spent, be sure to watch the Capital Improvements Report given by Will Anderson. 

Richland 2 must be in the running for national architectural awards. Look at the modern buildings, including the Arts Center! Are they really suitable for the expenditure of public dollars? 

Will's report starts at approximate one hour 34 minutes into the meeting. It's mind-blowing!

What was Caution-Parker doing?

In the recording of this week's school board meeting (9/22/2020) notice the amount of time that Trustee Caution-Parker was looking down. 

What was she doing all that time? Texting? Reading or writing email? (There is a Board Policy about using electronics during board meetings.)

I was reminded of the cartoon that circulates on Facebook of the teacher who commented on a student who was taking a test and smiling while he was looking down into his lap. You've probably seen that.

Inappropriate Virtual Background

During tonight's school board meeting Trustee Manning sat in front of his personalized Zoom "virtual background", which seemed to read "NOTORIOUS RBG". My apologies for the quality of the photo from the computer monitor.

Was it appropriate for him to express his personal views about anything other than school board business during a school board meeting?

Two other board members (well, really just one) displayed virtual backgrounds, but their choice was the District's wallpaper. Others did not use any virtual background.

Personally, I believe Manning's choice was inappropriate. Notice in the video-recording of the meeting how he sat off to the side so that the drawing of RBG was prominent. The Board Chair should have texted Manning and asked him to turn off his virtual background during the meeting.


Candidates' Forum is after voting begins

Richland County absentee voting in the election of School Board members (and other races) begins October 5-7 (depending on the satellite location), BUT the forum for candidates for the three open positions on the School Board will not be held until October 20th, only two weeks before the election.

Many voters will already have voted before they have the chance to size up the candidates at the forum planned at R2i2 (or probably virtually) on October 20.

Who picked that date? Did the candidates get their heads together and pick that date?  

Do you think the candidates should have their forum sooner?