Monday, November 23, 2020

Nov. 17 Special-Called Board Meeting - a joke

Why did Trustee Agostini called the November 17th meeting a "joke"?

Watch the meeting on YouTube and it will be clear.

The Richland 2 nominee to the South Carolina School Boards Association is supposed to represent Richland 2 (and Richland 1).

The superintendent read off numerous Resolutions that will come before the SCSBA in December for a vote. Mrs. Agostini suggested that the nominee (currently, Trustee-elect Amelia McKie) should know what the position of Richland 2 was on each Resolution. 

This make 100% sense; right? And how would McKie know, if the Board didn't discuss, make a decision, and vote to instruct her?

What Legislative Resolutions (of the SCSBA) did the superintendent mention? At 18:20 on the video timer:

Staff recommends supporting all Resolutions, with special attention to Numbers 7, 9, 13, 16, 17, 19, 24, 30, 33, 35, and 36.

What are they? Ah, not a word. They were buried in the board packet distributed to board members before the meeting.

Which board members read them? My guess is that Agostini and Elkins read them.

Did Caution-Parker? Holmes? McFadden? Manning? McKie?

Care to place any bets?

Dr. Elkins wisely asked whether they would be any discussion of those SCSBA proposed Resolutions or would it just be up to Amelia McKie?

Mrs. Agostini had obviously read the board packet and the Resolutions, because she wanted to discuss Numbers 2, 6, 25, 28, and 31. 

Manning said something about Caution-Parker's being the representative at "that" meeting; yet she did not open her mouth and ask even one question. Had she even read and studied all the Resolutions?

Mrs. Agostini was right. That whole "discussion" item was a waste of time.

One more mess to correct

The Richland 2 School Board now has one more mess to clean up.

At the November 17, 2020 special-called board meeting Amelia McKie was voted on as the District's representative to the South Carolina School Boards Association. She will serve as the SCSBA's Region 8 (Richland 1 and Richland 2) Director.

The problem?

For McKie to serve on the SCSBA, she must first be a member of the Richland 2 School Board. She is not.

Because she has never taken the oath of office legally, McKie is not a member of the Richland 2 school board. She, like Teresa Holmes, is a trustee-elect (only). So McKie cannot serve on the SCSBA board of directors.

When I addressed this with the SCSBA, the executive director, Scott Price, responded on November 16, 2020 with this message:

"With all due respect, it is not up to you to determine anyone's eligibility for the SCSBA Board of Directors.  Nor is it up to you to determine whether someone is a "bonafide" member of the Richland 2 board of trustees."

McKie (and Holmes) violated state law by taking the oath of office before they filed their Statements of Economic Interests with the South Carolina Ethics Commission. They became eligible to take the oath on December 4, 2018, after they filed their SEIs. They have never done so.

One of these days the Richland 2 School Board is going to have to go back and correct everything that it has done, on and since November 13, 2018, if the vote was by votes of McKie and Holmes. 

This is not a case of "possession is 9/10th of the law." They don't get to claim their seats on the board just because they've kept them warm for two years.

What would YOU do?

I received this email from School Board Trustee-elect Teresa Holmes this morning. She sent it at 12:21AM today.

Mr. Philpott,

I have been more than patient and have excused you slanderous/liable behavior long enough. I will be speaking to my attorney on Monday and I am planning to take legal action against you.  Enough is enough.  You are well aware that what you are saying is not true  which, the state of SC has given you in writing. Additionally, you have been asked several times to stop repeating slanderous statements. It's unfortunate that your motives are seemingly racially motivated with,  a poor attempt to hide behind pretending that you are not a racist by using a beard / beards to cover your true intentions and hateful nature. 

Dr. Teresa Holmes 

What would you do?

I remember my interview at the Richland County Sheriff's Department on March 20, 2019, after Holmes filed a report accusing me of harassing her. The meeting was with a Sergeant Investigator and the Deputy Chief of the Criminal Investigations Division. 

After I pointed out that the deputy's report, based on Holmes' statements, contained nothing but lies, the Deputy Chief quickly decided that no crime had been committed.

At one point the sergeant said, in a harsh tone, "You just want these women kicked off the board!"

I paused and then responded calmly. "No, I just want them to take the oath of office and become legal members of the board."

That was 18 months ago. They still haven't taken the oath of office - legally.