Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Board errs in approving draft agenda

The Board approved the draft agenda tonight for the November 10, 2020 Board Meeting with a huge error that no one addressed.

The superintendent proposed that there be a board installation ceremony at 5:00PM, followed by an Executive Session at 5:30PM and the open meeting at 6:00PM.

The Board is going to make the same error it made on November 13, 2018.

SECTION 59-19-315. Commencement of trustee's term of office.
The term of office of every elected trustee of a school district must commence one week following the certification of his election.

The November 10th board meeting will be prior to "one week following the certification of the election" of any newly-elected, first-time board member(s). Election day is November 3rd. The Richland County Elections Commission will certify the election probably no sooner than November 6. Therefore the term-of-office begins November 13, 2020, which is three days after the planned installation ceremony. .

Any new trustees could be sworn in on November 10th, IF they have filed their Statements of Economic Interests with the South Caroline Ethics Commission. Hopefully, the Board Secretary will check and confirm that filing.

But newly-elected board members cannot be seated legally at the November 10, 2020 meeting. They cannot attend the Executive (confidential) session or vote on board matters, because their term-of-office will not have begun.

So why did the superintendent put this on the agenda for the November 10th board meeting? Does he intend to allow the law to be violated again, as it was on November 13, 2018? (McKie and Holmes still have not legally taken the oath of office and have been usurping office as school board members for almost two years!)

Another law being violated by Richland 2 is this one.

SECTION 59-19-70. Chairman and clerk of board.
The trustees shall, as soon as practicable after the appointment of any new trustee, organize by the election of one of their members as chairman and another as clerk of the board. The chairman shall preside at meetings of the board and perform other duties imposed on him under the law, and the clerk shall keep a record of the proceedings of all meetings in a book provided for that purpose and perform all other duties required of him by law.

Will a new Board Chair and Board Clerk (Secretary) be elected? This should happen at the first board meeting after the term-of-office begins. That will be the December 8, 2020 meeting.

Best written Public Participation!!! Supt. disses teachers, parents.

The October 27th board meeting had the very best set of submitted comments to be read to the Board since virtual meetings began.

As soon as the video is published on YouTube, watch this board meeting on YouTube. The Public Participation was broken into two segments, so that all 21 letters could be read.

At 9:54 on the timer Mrs. Libby Roof beg`an reading the first half of the letters. Unfortunately, she is a speed-reader and, at times, it is hard to follow what she is saying. However, the communication is shown on screen, so that you can read it and follow along.

Many were from teachers with health problems who have been denied accommodations by the District.

Sometime around 1 hour 10 minutes into the meeting (I'll add the exact time on October 29), Mrs. Roof began reading the second half of the letters.

Take the time to listen to the reading of these letters.

Then scroll ahead to hear the superintendent's comments during the Board & Superintendent Comments. His comments begin at 1:39 (one hour 39 min.) on the timer. He opened with saying he was "disheartened". Oh, my; his feeling were hurt. He launched into a "Damn the Torpedoes. Full Speed Ahead" speech, justifying all the planning and hard work of the teams worked. 

I was immediately reminded of these words: 

"No plan survives the first shot. No plan survives first contact with the enemy. No plan survives its initial implementation. 'No plan survives contact with the enemy.' (Barnett, 1963)" (Google) and

"No plan survives first contact with the enemy. What matters is how quickly the leader is able to adapt." (Tim Hartford)

And he disrespected those at-risk teachers and parents of at-risk students and children whose comments were read earlier. And then he criticized parents for "utilizing children to advocate". Where did he get that???

Chairman Shadd should have cut him off and told him to hold his speech for another meeting; i.e., put it on the agenda.