Sunday, November 22, 2020

Teresa Holmes for Board Chair? Seriously?

At the November 17, 2020 special-called board meeting, trustee-elect Teresa Holmes threw her bonnet in the ring for future Board Chair.

Seriously? She is not even a legal board member. She is not a legal board Vice Chair (because she isn't a legal board member). And she brashly started her own campaign to lead Richland 2 School District's board.

Watch the beginning of this board meeting. Her pitch starts at 1:50 on the timer.

She claimed a "moment of privilege for just a second to say something".

Listen carefully. She wanted the public to understand that the person elected that night would only serve for the "next couple of months". She repeated that at least three times. Does she not know that there are seven full months until the next board election of officers?

I was reminded of what Ph.D. often stands for. Piling it Higher and Deeper. That she did.

She didn't need to say any of that. If she was nominated, she could have declined. And that would have been the end of it.

But she was giving a formal heads-up to The Squad that, come June 22, 2021, she expects to be selected as the board chair for 2021-2022. And don't get in the way of that gavel. y'all.

Notice the way she opened the meeting. She grabbed that gavel like she was the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Was it really necessary to rap the gavel five times to silence the multitudes?

The room was already silent. I don't recall any Board Chair ever having to demand the silence of the room. Others just gently started the meeting with calling the meeting to order.

Complacency or Complicity

How serious a matter is it for the Richland 2 Board of Trustees not to force Amelia McKie and Teresa Holmes to either step away from the board or to take the oath of office legally?

The only response I have received from the school district is that the Board cannot address the issue. That's the lie of the century.

If the five legal members of the board cannot address two women who have been usurping public office for TWO YEARS, what else can they do or not do?

When James Shadd did not attend his final board meeting on November 10, 2020 (reportedly due to self-quarantining after a family member's positive COVID test), the Board did NOT have a quorum. But it conducted business by erroneously counting trustees-elect McKie and Holmes as legitimate board members. Since they have never taken the oath of office legally, they are not board members.

The FBI and SLED have been asked to investigate why Richland School District Two has been paying out public monies illegally to trustees-elect McKie and Holmes. They are not entitled to receive monthly pay for attending board meetings, and they are not entitled to have association membership fees paid or be reimbursed for any expenses. The School District should stop paying them and bill them to recover the monies paid out illegally.

The S.C. Attorney General's Office has been asked again to charge McKie and Holmes with usurping public office.

SECTION 15-63-60. Action against usurpers, for forfeiture of office or against persons acting as corporation.

An action may be brought by the Attorney General in the name of the State upon his own information or upon the complaint of any private party or by a private party interested on leave granted by a circuit judge against the parties offending in the following cases:

(1) When any person shall usurp, intrude into, or unlawfully hold or exercise any public office, civil or military, or any franchise within this State or any office in a corporation, created by the authority of this State;

(2) When any public officer, civil or military, shall have done or suffered an act which, by the provisions of law, shall make a forfeiture of his office; or...

The immediate solution is simple. The oath of office should be administered to them, this time legally. They became eligible to take the oath of office on December 4, 2018, after the filed finally their Statements of Economic Interests (thanks to The Independent Voice of Blythewood & Fairfield County newspaper).

McKie and Holmes have never taken the oath of office for the 2018-2022 term legally.

SECTION 8-3-10. Oath and commission prerequisite to assumption of duties.

It shall be unlawful for any person to assume the duties of any public office until he has taken the oath provided by the Constitution and been regularly commissioned by the Governor.

It can be understood that this statute means "taken the oath" legally.

When the five legal trustees have knowledge of the illegal presence of McKie and Holmes on the Board, do they individually become complicit in the violation of state law? Do they condone the presence of McKie and Holmes on the board by not raising at every meeting that McKie and Holmes are illegally present at the board seats?

Even if the minority group of trustees cannot get a Motion passed to remove McKie and Holmes, they should try it at every meeting, so that there is an official record of their attempt.

The problem, of course, is getting it on the agenda at all. Board Chair Manning will be slow to act, and the superintendent doesn't want it on the agenda. But at every meeting a Trustee could request that it be added to the agenda for the next meeting. It'll be voted down by the majority, but it will be on the record.

And then the voters can decide at the November 2022 election how they feel about about the "majority" on the board.