Thursday, September 30, 2021

S.C. Supreme Court nixes Richland 2 case

Be sure to read Richland Two's extensive statement following the decision by the S.C. Supreme Court that has been anxiously awaited. It's on the Richland Two website.

Now read it a second time. Now a third time.

Did you read that the S.C. Supreme Court ruled AGAINST Richland 2? I didn't, either.

Don't miss the statement by Teresa Holmes in the press release. Somebody should ask, "Who wrote that for her?"

If I put that statement alongside ANY of the emails she has sent me, any young reader would ask, "Who really wrote that statement?"

My guess? The lawyer(s), Libby Roof and the superintendent wrote it and just put Holmes' name on it.

Holmes missed Tuesday night's board meeting, because she had to babysit. Did she make a miraculous recovery from whatever illness her grandchild brought into the house? 

Why didn't she attend the board meeting telephonically? Does she get paid her stipend, even if she doesn't attend a board meeting?

You Tell Me - Legal or Illegal?

Since March 2019 I have been after the school board to recognize that there are two women on the board illegitimately. 

What do you think?

Teresa Holmes was elected to the board on November 6, 2018. Amelia McKie was re-elected to the board on November 6, 2018. 

They took the oath of office on November 13, 2018 and began serving on the board that same night.

Here is the problem. There's s sticky little item called the State law on when you can take the oath.

Disclosure of Economic Interests

SECTION 8-13-1110. Persons required to file statement of economic interests.

(A) No public official, regardless of compensation, and no public member or public employee as designated in subsection (B) may take the oath of office or enter upon his official responsibilities unless he has filed a statement of economic interests in accordance with the provisions of this chapter with the appropriate supervisory office.

I've highlighted certain words for your attention and easy reading. You can easily see the order of doing things.

1. File your Statement of Economic Interests (SEI) with the S.C. Ethics Commission.

2. Take the oath of office

3. Enter upon official responsibilitis.

Both Holmes and McKie filed their SEIs on December 4, 2018, after The Voice (newspaper) blew the whistle on them.

See the problem?

They chose this order: 2-3-1, not the correct legal order, 1-2-3.

Holmes insists she is qualified. Yes, indeed she is qualified - for the office. She was elected.

But neither Holmes nor McKie was eligible to take the oath of office on November 13, 2018. Both became eligible to take the oath of office on December 4, 2018, upon filing their SEIs.

Neither has taken the oath of office ince November 13, 2018.

Since they have never taken the oath of office legally, they are not legitimate board members. Since they are not board members, neither can be an officer of the board. Why did Manning Nominate Holmes on June 29, 2020, even after being asked to nominate only legitimate board members.

Why do the five legal membes of the board tolerate Holmes' and McKie's usurping public office?

Why do Holmes and McKie refuse to take the oath of office legally?

What should be done to correct this legal problem?

McKie : "be in line with law"

Wow! Can I believe my ears?

Amelia McKie said the board should be in line with law. Seriously? All the laws, I guess, except only taking the oath of office after filing the Statement of Economic Interests. No, no. Don't be in line with that law. 

If you'd like to hear one of the dumbest discussions the Richland 2 school board has ever had, listen to their discussion of Board Policy BEDC Quorum. It starts at 2:59:28 in the recording of the September 28, 2021 board meeting.

A number of board members don't even understand the difference between Quorum and Majority (for voting).

Without a Parliamentarian the discussion bounced back and forth and included extraneous comments that were not germane to Quorum.

Listen to McKie say that she doesn't want the board to be in a situation where it can be voluntarily held "hostage". That ought to have brought the wrath of the chair (well, vice-chair, or acting chair) down on her. How can she get away with insulting and defaming The Three like that??? McKie is apparently still bent out of shape that Agostini, Scott and McFadden walked out of a meeting earlier this month, as well they should have.

What's the difference between Quorum and Majority?

A Quorum is the number needed to do any business; that is, to hold a meeting. It has nothing to do with voting.

A Majority is the number of votes that determine a favorable decision on a motion. Majority rules in most voting situations. Sometimes a super-majority is needed; sometimes, it's a 2/3 majority (2/3 x 7 = 5). That "5" just happens to be the same number as needed for a Quorum. 

Richland 2 loses in S.C. Supreme Court

It's no surprise to me that the S.C. Supreme Court ruled against Richland 2 in the Proviso 1.108 case.

The school district could have saved time, money and embarrassment and just asked me. I would have told them.  heh-heh.

There was no reason for the S.C. Supreme Court to comment on the use of other funds to pester the kids and staff with a mask mandate. The case was only about Proviso 1.108.

If you read Proviso 1.108 for yourself, you'll see that it does NOT forbid masks or prohibit any government body, including school district, from mandating masks. What it does do is prohibit the use of State funds under the current Appropriations Act from being used to announce or enforce a mask mandate.

So just dip into a different pocket for the change.

You'd think that all the smart people around, with their law degrees and Ph.D's, would be able to figure that out.

It's too bad that Richland 2 didn't get good legal advice, on which it could have relied in a decision NOT to file the lawsuit. WHO did advise the Richland 2 board in that executive session, after which the board voted in public to GET legal advice? How convenient it was for the board not to admit that they had just gotten legal advice in that executive session.

So Proviso 1.108 stands. If Richland 2 used this year's State funds to announce or enforce its mask mandate, it'll be in big trouble and the Toothless Lion will attack and gum the District to death. You know how much that will hurt.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Public Participation - 9/28/2021

Three speakers addressed the board last night. You can hear them right here. Go to Select the Sept. 28, 2021 meeting and fast-forward to 1:23:58 to hear the first speaker, Larry Small.

He told the board, with great passion, that HE is responsible for his children, not the superintendent or the board. HE is. Take a moment now and listen to his remarks.

At 1:27:44 the second speaker was Gary Ginn. He informed the board that the health of his children is the responsibility of his wife and him. 

The third speaker was Gus Philpott. (You recognize that name; right?) My three minutes started at 1:30:37.

I read to the board an email that I received from Teresa Holmes. She emailed it to me at 10:57PM on 9/15/21, about five hours after I had emailed the public relations department at Richland 2 to ask that they update her online bio. A reporter at The State newspaper had relied on online information about her job title and didn't know that she had quit early in August.

You might be interested in what Holmes had to say to me that night. There is a reason that I read it to the board and for the Richland 2 public to hear. Here it is, exactly as I received it:

"Gus, I have often tolerated you hateful remarks and email. However, this time you have gone too far.  I lost my husband Rev. Dr. Jacob A. Holmes Jr. 4 years ago which, I know you are fully aware of.  I will no longer tolerate nor concern myself with your continuous diatribe of falsehoods and insults.  After this message you are officially blocked from any further contact   with me.  Go spout your hate on those who care  about you and what your deceitful lying  mouth has to say.....Do not contact  me again or include me in your racist, hateful. lying  remarks or emails.  It is sad that someone of your advanced age is not concerned about your mortality and relationship with God.  I will pray that God will forgive your outright evilness and have mercy for your pitiful soul.  It has to be hard working on being so evil.  
Dr. Teresa Holmes 

The fourth speaker was Renee Lucida. Her remarks begin at 1:34:15. She referred to the last two board meetings as "dysfunctional". She mentioned an email she had sent to the board chair, and she received no answers to her questions. She described the reply that she did receive from the board chair as a "perceived veiled attack on my character."

Take a few minutes and watch this week's school board meeting Public Participation.

Is Gus Philpott intimidating?

When I arrived at R2i2 yesterday about 5:20PM and while I was chatting with another member of the public, a security officer and a deputy, the superintendent approached. 

He told the other man and me that one of the female trustees had reported that she felt intimidated by us. I had noticed last week that one trustee had requested a deputy to escort her to her car in the parking lot, and I recall saying to someone that I wondered whether she had received threats.

I was pretty sure the other man had not acted in an intimidating manner toward that trustee, and I KNEW that I had not. 

The question for me now is how to resolve it with that trustee. I find myself reluctant to approach her to discuss what caused her to feel intimidated and whether, in fact, she had even told the superintendent that she was intimidated by me. I certainly would not open the discussion without a female trustee as a witness.

As many know, I have complained for 2½ years that Holmes and McKie are not legitimate board members and now cannot serve as board officers. I told the board in March 2019 that the issue was not going away. When will the issue go away? When they take the oath of office legally and become legal members of the board!

I know the laws, and I know that I have avoided any words or actions that could be considered criminal. That didn't keep Holmes from filing a harassment claim against me with the Richland County Sheriff's Department in March 2019. I met with an Investigator Sergeant and the Deputy Chief of Criminal Investigations. The Chief quickly determined that no crime had occurred.

I have a copy of the deputy's report of Holmes' complaint. It is 100% lies. I pointed that out while I was at RCSD. 

It is my intention to see that Holmes and McKie are removed from the board. In fact, they aren't even legally ON the board, so it's not a question of "removing" them. All Holmes and McKie have to do to become legal board members is take the oath of office - legally. Both became eligible to take it on December 4, 2018. 

I have no idea why the rest of the board, the school district's attorney and the superintendent don't persuade Holmes and McKie to do so. It has been suggested to me that one reason is that the District will have to review every vote by the board, starting with the November 13, 2018, and take out the votes of Holmes and McKie. Many decisions will change. 

Votes that were 4-3 (with Holmes and McKie counted in the four) will become 3-2, meaning the votes failed, not passed. The longer the District waits to correct this, the farther they will have to go back. 

There are board meetings since November 13, 2018 that won't have quorums, once Holmes' and McKie's names are removed from those attending. Any one of the five legal trustees who missed a meeting in 2½ years will cause a meeting to miss the quorum requirement.

Perhaps I'm intimidating because I can count. That could be it.

Were you inspired last night?

It appears the Inspiration Moment of board meetings has dissolved into a reading lesson by trustee-elect Amelia McKie.

Are you inspired?

Some time back the District arranged speakers who actually provided inspiration. What happened to inviting community members in for a brief Inspirational Moment?

Are you inspired by a board member who drones on and on, or sometimes reads like she is auditioning for Toastmasters? 

Let's hear some success stories from others. 

An "Inspirational Moment" should be a moment, defined in Merriam-Webster dictionary as "a minute portion ... of time". In another reference, as "an indefinitely short period of time" ( In other words, short. 

And inspirational!

And the introduction of the speaker for the Insprration Moment should be very brief; say, 30 seconds or less. An example of a good introduction is, "Tonight's speaker for the inspirational moment will be _______." It's not necessary to deliver a pedigree that is longer than the inspiration moment ought to be.

9/28/21 Board Meeting - could you hear?

Before last night's board meeting began, I asked if the volume in the room could be increased, as trustees cannot be heard in the meeting room. Volume is very good on the Live recording, but it's low in the room.

I was offered a hearing-assistance device. I'll acknowledge some degree of hearing loss. I'm growing accustomed to "soft" Southern voices but, when they speak clearly and don't mumble, I hear and understand them.

As I looked around the room during the meeting, I noticed that quite a few others in the audience were showing signs that they couldn't hear, either. You know, shaking their heads; leaning their heads toward the speakers; holding hands up to ears. Or just ignoring the speaker.

How simple it would be to instruct the sound engineer to increase the volume in the room.

Or instruct the trustees to remove their masks and speak directly into the microphones.

Or for the trustees to pull the microphones closer to their mouths.

A-ha! This morning I began listening to the replay of last night's meeting. When the session reconvened at 1:13:10 on the recording, Trustee Manning clearly asked the board members to pull their microphones closer and to speak up, so the public could hear.

Interesting. His voice was loud and clear on the recording, but I did not hear those words in the meeting.

Did you?

Could you hear last night, if you were in the room? Comments below, please.

If you were in the room and could not hear, please email the board and Mrs. Roof at

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

9/22/21 was an illegal board meeting

The following open letter was emailed to Trustees Agostini, Scott and McFadden yesterday.

When there is a call for approval of the Consent Agenda at the September 28 board meeting, will you please make a motion for Item 6.2 to be removed from the Consent Agenda, to be discussed and voted on separately? If a second is needed, will another of you please provide it?

There is a major error in the Minutes for the 9/22/21 Board meeting. The Minutes include "Call to Order".

As you will see on the livestream recording (Part 1 begins at 14.33) maskless Teresa Holmes never called the meeting to order. Holmes was distracted by giggling and didn't even have her laptop open to the agenda for the meeting. She just started reading a statement. That entire statement was unnecessary. I believe you should find out who wrote that statement for Holmes to read. Then the board went into executive session (18:10). 

The Minutes need to be corrected. If Holmes refuses or the board denies, please call a Point-of-Order, so that the failure to call the meeting to order can be discussed in public.

By failing to call the meeting to order, it became illegal for the board to enter executive session. The board violated the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act by going into executive session. They cannot do so except in a formal meeting. And there was none.

It could be that the entire meeting, including approval of the superintendent's proposed revised contract, was illegal, since the meeting was not properly called to order.

The board desperately needs an in-depth FOIA training on open meetings and executive sessions. The board made an illegal decision in executive session on August 16, when it agreed on action to be taken if Manning's Motion about engaging legal counsel (getting advice) passed. 


Gus Philpott

Monday, September 27, 2021

Richland 2 lawsuit? Well ???

Does anyone remember the lawsuit that Richland 2 filed in the South Carolina Supreme Court?

You know, the one that was not authorized by the board? Except the public learned from an article in The State that maybe the board did authorize it, just not publicly.

What was the date when two hand-picked attorneys showed up and pitched the five justices on their point of view? Anyone remember? Seems like a long time ago. 

The S.C. Supreme Court hearing was on August 31.That's four weeks ago from tomorrow.

Where is the decision? What's the delay? Has the S.C. Supreme Court decided, but it's holding off on publishing its decision? Why?

On August 16 Special-Called Meeting the school board met in executive (secret) session. No decisions are supposed to be made in executive session. That's state law. No "agree-to-agree" deals are supposed to be made. In open session Manning made a motion to engage legal counsel for advice. On August 19 the District filed a lawsuit. Many of us wondered when and how that was approved.

Why did Teresa Holmes lead the board in that subterfuge? Did she even understand what she was doing?

On Friday, September 17 reporter Lucas Daprile (The State) wrote that Libby Roof had explained it all. Here's what Lucas wrote:

“ 'This vote by the board was taken following an executive session during which the board received legal advice regarding the best option and legal strategy to address (the one-year mask law). The discussion included a clear description of what actions would be taken by district administrators if the board voted to give district administrators the authority to engage legal counsel,' Roof said in a statement."

Note that Manning's motion to was engage legal counsel; i.e., to get legal advice. But it turns out that the board had gotten legal advice during the executive session. That is even on the agenda for that August 16 Executive Session. 

Read carefully what Mrs. Roof said. She said that in the executive session the board received legal advice! The board discussed what was going to happen, if Manning's motion was approved. That's called DECISION and is prohibited by State law!

Anyone reading or hearing the motion would have believed that, after the superintendent got the legal advice sought, then he would return to the board and report what he had learned. But the board knew better and withheld that information from the public and from Mrs. Agostini, who had not attended the discussion.

Did that happen? NO. Instead, three days later the District filed a lawsuit! Who directed that? It had to be the superintendent.

Lucas Daprile wrote further: “ 'It was crystal clear what steps would be taken,' board secretary Amelia McKie told The State Thursday regarding the lawsuit vote." 

McKie admits to the illegal agreement-to-agree. 

Actually, McKie is not even a board member and cannot serve as board secretary. She has never taken the oath of office legally.

That agree-to-agree decision was a violation of the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act. Should the Richland 2 board be hauled into court to explain why they violated that law?

Sunday, September 26, 2021

How long should a school board meeting be?

Remember when school board meetings were 90 minutes long? Sometimes less?

And now?

What's that old maxim? Work expands to fill the time allotted.

This is certainly true in Richland 2 School District.

"The Three", as Agostini, Scott (Elkins) and McFadden will be known here, have learned that they can exercise important control over The Four (and the superintendent).

All they have to do is walk out, and there is no quorum. Meeting over!

The Three are professionals, and they won't walk out unless it's important.

And if Holmes and the superintendent continue to pack board meeting agendas with everything except the kitchen sink, they should walk out at the 90-minute mark. After all, they will have been there 2-2½ hours at that point, when you add in the time for the executive session.

IF all board members read and studied their packets before the meeting and

IF all board members prepared their questions about items on the agenda, and

IF the board chair conducted the meeting with efficiency and courtesy,

the board would fly through these meetings.

You've probably heard that "if" is the biggest word in the English language.

The Three should make it clear to Holmes that they are no longer going to tolerate 2-2½-3 hour meetings after the executive session.

Get Holmes some training in how to conduct a meeting. That training should include clarification that she is never again to say, "I AM the point-of-order at this time."

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Naming New Facilities

OK, sit up, folks.

Remember a few meetings ago when a question arose about the naming of new facilities.

Board Policy FF Naming New Facilities was just revised on March 12, 2019. 

Look at what is wanted now. Who has a name up her sleeve for a new facility's name? (I say "her" because there is only one man on the board.)  And which facility?

At the end of the Policy is a mark-up for a proposed change. If someone donates a lot of money, the board can consider naming a facility after the donor. Otherwise, faciliies cannot be named for a living person. 

Then the proposed revision reads: "In very unusual situations, names of persons who have been deceased for more than 10 3 or more years may also be considered." (More correct would be "three or more" years, rather than "3 or more".

Personally, I oppose naming any public buildings after people, dead or alive. If a building is a science building, then call it the Science Building.

Now R2 Board wants in the Cookie Jar

Not to be outdone by the superintendent's reach into the cookie jar, it appears that the Board doesn't want to lose out on its share. 

Do you ever read the agenda for upcoming board meetings? Do you know where to find it?

On the agenda for the Regular Meeting on September 28 (at least Holmes isn't calling a Special Meeting for this) is Item 2.4 Receipt of Legal Advice on Board Policy BID. That item and the legal advice sought by the Board will be hidden from public view by the executive session. That's where they line up the ducks before they march them out and over the public.

What is Board Policy BID?

Policy BID is Board Member Compensation and Expenses

Scared yet?

Is it by design and plan that the text of Board Policies cannot be copied (and then pasted into another document, such as right here?

If you want to read it, follow this path:

Upper right corner, click on EXPLORE

Click on School Board



Then click on Policy BID Board Member Compensation and Expenses

What is it that the gang wants to know about how to increase their monthly stipend, per diem, mileage, number of meetings paid for, how much each board member can spend? Who decides what "reasonable and necessary" expenses are?

Is "reasonable and necessary" one amount if a person is spending her own money? Is it a higher amount when that person is spending OPM (Other Peoples' Money)? District money? Your money?

Do some board members live "high off the hog" when traveling on your dollar? Do they stay in the conference hotel at a negotiated group rate or do they skip off to a luxury hotel? Who checks closely on how much they have really put on their credit cards? Do Board Members have District credit cards, or do they use their own credit cards, submit expense accounts and then get reimbursed only at pre-approved amounts? 

Will the chair try to slip in a vote at Item 8.3 on a revision to Board Policy BID? Or will the issue come back at a future meeting for a decision? Or is a decision even necessary if the trustees want to bump up their spending? Will it just be buried out-of-sight in the Budget?

Grab your wallets and purses!!!

Friday, September 24, 2021

Shortest board meeting ever? 9/24/21

The September 24th Special-Called board meeting was called to order at 5:30PM and adjourned 16b minutes later.

The video-recording of the meeting ( starts at 09:17. Holmes raps the gavel 5-6 times. One rap would have been sufficient. It's not like she had to silence a roomful of people talking and laughing. She calls the meeting to order.No roll call is taken, but one can see that Holmes, McKie, Caution-Parker, Manning and McFadden are present. Agostini and Scott are not present. Holmes does not announce that a quorum is present. They go into executive session.

When the board re-convenedin public session, the music over-ride wasn't canceled, and there was some type of recording glitch.

Then normal recording resumes.

The board then approved the agenda and the consent agenda. Then the board handled the important business of the evening.

Student Appeals 

Students 1-3 to Blythewood Academy for 90 days

Student 4 to Blythewood Academy (45 days) with LRADAC

Vote 5-0  (The correct vote is 5-0-0-2)

Admit Students 1-4 to the Adult Education Program

Vote 5-0 (The correct vote is 5-0-0-2)

Adjourn at 5:46PM

Now, about what could possibly go wrong in a short meeting.

Note how short the executive session had to be for careful consideration of the appeals of four students. In the past, the trustees have not voted unanimously on the recommendation of the superintendent. Now we can see that the absence of Agostini and Scott substantially shortened any discussion of the appeals. Did any of the students and parents show up? If they had only two days' notice, was that fair to them? And holding a meeting involving student appeals late on a Friday and at 5:30PM, when many working parents are still on the way home? Bad decision by the board!

And, most importantly, there was NOT a legal quorum present tonight. Who attended? Holmes, McKie, Caution-Parker, Manning and McFadden. Five.

BUT Holmes and McKie are not legitimate members of the board. Neither has ever legally taken the oath of office. They did take an oath, but that was three weeks before they were eligible to do so. They took the oath on November 13, 2018, but they did not become eligible to take the oath until December 4, 2018. Neither has taken the oath since November 13, 2018, according to the District.

So there were THREE legal board members there tonight, not Five. No quorum. And no quorum means  no meeting and no voting.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Open Letter to Richland 2 Board

The following has been emailed to the Richland 2 board.

Members of the board and trustees-elect Holmes and McKie,

The way to train the board chair not to waste your time with unnecessary special-called meetings is not to show up. SIX people should have told Teresa NO.

The 9/22/21 meeting was unnecessary, since the supt's raise was effective retroactive to 7/1/2021. It wouldn't have mattered if you had waited six months. I'm a little concerned about what "an additional 4% increase" meant. Was it just careless wording?

Having a special-called non-emergency meeting on two days' notice, on a Friday after-hours, is stupid. Expecting staff to show up to deliver reports on a Friday night is completely disrespectful. Nothing will get done over the week-end. Staff already have their Monday-Tuesday workloads arranged. Will the supt. call in staff to work over the week-end on any decisions reached tomorrow night? They should say NO.

The way you train a kid to stop asking for candy is to say "No" one time - and mean it. The kid might ask 2-3-5-10-15-20 times. Don't give in. If you give in, then you have just trained the kid to keep asking until he gets it.

I thought the Sept. 14 meeting was bad. That was until last night. Remember that Teresa said "The children are watching." What did they learn last night from the chaos, disrespect, ignorance, rudeness? 

I don't even think that Robert's Rules of Order training will help several people on the board. They are past learning, partly because they have forgotten how to listen.

Enjoy your Friday evening and your week-end. Skip the special-called meeting.

Train Teresa back to a standard of reasonableness and courtesy. Don't be bullied.

Gus Philpott

The Supt's Raise

Today I'm concerned about the wording in the Motion for the superintendent's raise.

The motion provides, in part, "an additional four percent (4%) increase in his annual salary, effective July 1, 2021."

What does "additional" mean? 

Did he get a raise about which the public wasn't told, and this is an additional 4% increase?

Or did McKie mean "a four percent (4%) increase in his annual salary, effective July 1, 2021"?

And, since the raise was retroactive to the beginning of the 2021-2022 School Year, what was the hurry to approve it, either on September 14 or September 22?

I'm telling you, folks. "The Four" (Holmes, McKie, Caution-Parker, Manning) need to go. The sooner, the better.

9/22/21-V Meeting - Question Called. And then? Down, down, down.

Part V

(1:45:00) Holmes called for the Question and asked for the Motion to be reiterated.

At this point in the meeting, the agenda has not yet been approved! Manning previously called for the question, although Holmes gave the nod to McKie for doing so.

I wonder whether any of Holmes' pastors were there. If so, how ever were they keeping a straight face?

(1:45:17) Agostini called a Point of Order, while McKie was explaining that she had made the motion and that Caution-Parker had seconded. The Motion was on the projection screen.

Agostini said, "Point of Order, Madame Chair."

(1:45:27) Agostini was recognized. She reminded the chair that before they could vote on the Motion to Approve the agenda, they must first vote on Manning's Call of Order (Agostini meant Question). NOTE: While Agostini is speaking, Holmes is having a side-conversation with Manning!

Holmes said she didn't hear Agostini. How could she not hear the loud and clear statement by Agostini? That's because Holmes was NOT PAYING ATTENTION!

At this point, Holmes is lost in space.

McKie rescued her by stating that Agostini called for the question. (Manning had actually called for it, but Holmes had nodded to McKie.)

Manning seconded. Holmes said, "Let's call for the vote." Passed unanimously. Holmes is again lost. Note: it was the Call for the Question vote that passed; not the Vote on the Motion to approve the agenda. Holmes begins scrolling on her tablet; she's lost and doesn't know what to do next. Holmes hands her tablet to Manning. She ought to know what to do without handling her tablet!

Holmes announced that the pending Motion (to Approve the Agenda) passes 7-0.

Holmes said they'd now go to Item 4.1 Superintendent's Contract. Notice the confused look on her face. She asks, "Are we on that?"

Someone informs Holmes that the Motion to Approve the Agenda did not pass unanimously. Holmes tells Agostini that she thought Agostini voted in the affirm. Agostini corrects her and says she voted to approve the Call of the Question.

McKie begins speaking and explains to McFadden what is happening.

Holmes never announces the corrected vote as 6-1. 

Holmes expresses her confusion. "Let's get some order. Let me get some clarity, please. Where [sic] we at, Mr. Manning?"  Hello, isn't there supposed to be verb in that question?

(1:47:57) Now Item 4.1 Superintendent's Contract

Motion by McKie to approve the superintendent's contract, including the previously-approved contract extension to 6/30/2025; 4% raise effective 7/1/2021; 18 month severance pay, payment of unused leave if he dies under contract. Second by Caution-Parker (of course).

Trustee Scott moved to provide 12 months' severance, not 18 months. Second by McFadden. No discussion. Holmes can't see the Motion on the projection scrfeen. Does she need glasses? Hand Vote: 3-4. Motion fails.

Holmes asks if there is another motion. Asks McKie to re-state her primary motion. 

Scott wanted to speak. Holmes stopped her, because she hadn't called for Discussion yet. Pause. Now there's discussion.

Trustee Scott expressed sadness that no compromise could be reached to achieve a unanimous vote on the contract. Referred to "people" (meaaning some board members) who are control freaks, "my way or the highway". Would not compromise on even one minor thing. 

Manning objected to use of "control freaks". Someone should have called a Point of Order. His comment had nothing to do with the contract. It was NOT germane, whereas Scott's comment was germane. Manning criticized Scott without naming her. Crude and disrespectful, and can't cover it up with "nice". 

Manning whined that the superintendent got no large bonus for dealing with COVID. Well, he got paid $223,000+ for doing his job! His job this past year involved dealing with COVID!

(1:56:40) Manning said, "Dr. Davis does not have two annuities in his contract." So, it seems to me that he must have one. Does the public know about that? How much is the contribution to that annuity?

Trustee Scott returned to the 18 months' severance. She said there are no African-American superintendents that have 18 months' severance. Acknowledges that the District's attorney, Kathy Mahoney, was stting in the meeting.

Trustee Agostini called a Point of Order and was ignored by Holmes. She called Point of Order two more times.

Holmes said, "Mrs. Agostini, I AM THE POINT OF ORDER at this time."

Agostini again, "Point of Order".

Agostini supported what Scott was saying and got interrupted by Holmes.


Holmes claims even individual prior research that was later mentioned in executive session cannot be stated in public. HOLMES IS ABSOLUTELY WRONG.

Agostini had a Point of Order on the floor, when Manning called the Question. Many were talking at the same time. One trustee didn't know what they were voting on. 


Somebody off-camera and off-microphone was talking and explaining something. Manning was having a side-conversation with McFadden. I called out "Can't hear." Manning turned on his microphone and spoke to the board and the audience. He explained incorrectly that the vote on the contract would follow the call of the question.

However, Agostini had a Point of Order on the floor that preceded Manning's Call for the Question.

Vote on the Call for the Questions: 5-2 Passed

Vote on Motion to approve the contract: Holmes announced, "Motion carries" without stating the vote, which was 5-2.

Agostini twice requested Point of Privilege.

Trustee Scott was recognized. She thanks the pastors who attended and asked them to continue to pray for the board. She asked for everybody here to back to the board meetings for budget, mask mandate policy.

(2:07:20) Holmes claimed a Point of Privilege ahead of McKie. Holmes should have yielded to McKie. Holmes had a prepared statement to read. She further wasted the time of the board and the community with unrelated comments relative to the purpose of the meeting. 

McKie asked for a Point of Privilege to toot her own horn. Barf.

The superintendent read a prepared statement. Whatever happened to spontaneous remarks?

Anyone else sick of hearing Premier - premier - premier....

(2:18:50) Adjourned. Holmes: "You all have a blessed evening"

Conclusion? PITIFUL!!!

Perhaps I ought to stock up on these and distribute them at future board meetings.

9/22/21-IV Meeting - slides downhill faster

Part IV

(1:31:15) Holmes then announced her "solution" and said she was calling a special-called board meeting. 

Remember now. The agenda for the night's meeting has not been approved yet!!! 

The lack of a Parliamentarian and the courtesy of "certain" board members meant that Holmes got away with rambling off-topic, blaming and defaming the three board members in minority; i.e., not in "The Four" or, as I call them, "The Squad". 

Holmes has no idea how to run a board meeting productively and efficiently. After the meeting adjourned, I introduced myself to Karla Hawkins, the new General Counsel for the District. I urged her to recommend that the District hire an independent Parliamentarian and to recommend training for the board in Robert's Rules of Order. Will she? 

Holmes announced that she would be calling a special meeting for Friday, September 24.

NO ONE would interrupt Holmes and remind her that the sole topic of last night's board meeting was the superintendent's contract. Thank goodness for Livestream. It's all right there. Watch it and watch Holmes continue to embarrass herself with her ignorance of parliamentary procedure.

"My thing is, do the work. Not the antics. The children are watching." What a dumb statement by a board chair.

(1:33:05) Two female board members asked to be recognized. Holmes retorted, "I am still talking."

(1:33:22) A board member asked to be recognized. Holmes: "I am still talking, please."

Dr. Scott asks the pastors in the audience to continue to pray for the board. She was offended by Holmes having accused her of walking out of the Sept. 14th meeting because she didn't care about someone, and Scott said that (Holmes' statement) was (1:34:42) a BOLD-FACED LIE. Trustee Scott said she walked out of the Sept. 14th meeting because she received information on the very day she was expected to vote and, due to schedule, she had had no time to review and consider the important information.

[After the meeting last night I suggested to an audience member that perhaps I ought to do an exorcism on Holmes. That person and I had been talking about good and evil. I've done some difficult exorcisms over the past 20 years, and I think I'd have a great time removing some of the devil's helpers from Holmes.]


(1:37:30) Trustee Agostini spoke again. She mentioned the inclusion of Public Participation in a Special-Called board meeting in December 2019 by Manniing (then-board chair) and the superintendent. She contradicted Manning's earlier statement about Public Participation in special-called meetings. Agostini said she had expressed understanding of the constraints on Manning (having to do Holmes' work), and Agostini felt the others (the Four?, including Holmes) had not reciprocated with understanding the need of The Three to have adequate time to understand the totality of the superintendent's contract terms.

Holmes then called Agostini a liar by saying "That's not factual." (1:39:43) Holmes cannot even keep meeting purposes and timing straight. She said she understood and that's why last night's meeting was being held. NO. Agostini was talking about the Sept. 14th meeting. 


(1:40:15) Manning interrupted and annouced that he would like to call the question. See Robert's Rules of Order §6:6-7. Then Holmes asked McKie if she was calling for the question, and McKie nodded, but made no audible response.

Trustee Scott began speaking and said she will not be there on Friday, due to short notice, having a life and having prior obligations. Scott accused Holmes of being "selfish" in announcing the special-called meeting for this Friday. She said board member were "told" about last night's meeting. They were not offered a choice of several dates, as in the past, so that a majority could choose the best date. Scott said "Dictatorship" won't work. 

Then Holmes grabbed the floor again, ignoring the Call for the Question. Holmes said there is no dictatorship on the board; there is responsibility. When a meeting is called, "You come and do your responsibility."

Seriously? What use of English language is that? What does "do your responsibility" mean??? That's a person with a doctorate? I guess I wonder about the quality of the school that awarded that to her, if they didn't teach her to speak decent English. She continued, "You don't do the derelection [sic] of duty and walk out of the meeting." She repeated the accusation of "derelection of duty" by Agostini, Scott and McFadden.

Holmes then declared that duly-elected officials are required [sic] to come to meetings. NOT TRUE. She then falsely stated that last night's special-called meeting would not have been necessary, if they had done their duty that evening (Sept. 14).

(1:42:35) Trustee Agostini asked to be recognized. Holmes: "I'm still talking."

Holmes said they were going to call for the question.

(1:43:00) Trustee McFadden was recognized and spoke. She said if the board (majority) had cooperated to table the superintendent's contract, the Sept. 14th meetiing could have continued. McFadden also used the word "dictatorship", referring to Holmes in the executive session.

(1:45:00) Holmes called for the Question and asked for the Motion to be reiterated.


9/22/21-III Meeting - starts downhill

Part III

The 9//22/21 meeting resumed at 1:16:48. After a faulty motion "to come out of" executive session by Manning and a second, the vote was unanimous.

Holmes: "We will now move on to Public ... No, no, no." Just exactly where was her head? Not in the game last night!

Then Holmes asked for approval of the agenda. At that point I wondered whether the agenda should have been approved at the beginning of the meeting, before the board left for executive session.

McKie moved to approve the agenda; second by Caution-Parker. Trustee Agostini spoke in discussion. Agostini and another board member had requested that student appeals and admissions into adult education included in tonight's agenda. The reason given to Agostini and the other board member was that the request had not been made in a timely manner (three business days). Agostini mentioned a School Boards Assn. resolution that had been added late by a staffer to the previous meeting's agenda. 

McKie made a useless, irrelevant comment to promote herself. It was not germane to Agostini's comment.

Dr. Scott identified herself as the other board member who had asked for addition of student appeals and admission to adult education to last night's agenda. Scott said the request was made, as allowed by Board Policy, and that the board chair (Holmes) had not approved it.

Manning stated that he supported the chair's decision not to include those items. Manning blamed "hot (or high?) passions" about the superintendent's contract to the point that "folks" (he means Agostini, Scott, McFadden) needed to leave the (Sept. 14) meeting and "disrupt the business of the District." WHAT? Then Manning mentioned an email from a community member who openly asked board members to again walk out of a meeting and to not conduct the business of the District.

I suspect Manning was referring to me (Gus Philpott). If he was, he lied. I recommended that Agostini, Scott and McFadden not show up for the Sept. 22 special-called meeting, not that they walk out of the meeting. Then he refers to requests (PLURAL) from the public for board members to walk out...  Really? More than one request? Then he refers to "legal counsel" that Holmes had mentioned earlier.

WRONG. Not legal counsel to the District. Holmes referred to a training class conducted at an SCSBA meeting by an attorney. That is NOT "legal counsel" to the District.

Agostini added that she was troubled not to see Public Participation on the agenda. 

Scott spoke about Manning's comment. She referred to the pastors in the room. Scott stated that NO community member contacted her and asked her to walk out of the (Sept. 14th) meeting. By that time, the public must have been greatly confused about the comments being made about two different meetings!

There were 11 black members of the public seated on the left side facing the board. Were some of them pastors? Were they there to support the superintendent? Manning greeted some of them before the meeting started. Manning did not greet any of the white members of the audience. 

Manning was allowed to speak again. He tried to kowtow out of referring to any particular individual, but only three board members walked out, so he was definitely referring to one or more of them!

Holmes totally disregarded Robert's Rules of Order about how often a board member can speak during discussion. My guess is she didn't "disregard" Robert's Rules. My guess is that she is ignorant of Robert's Rules of Order.

One more reason that Richland 2 should hire an independent Parliamentarian. That would have been a better use of 4% of the superintendent's $223,000 than giving him a raise.

Manning tried to clarify that the email from the community member came out after the (Sept. 14) board meeting, but then he erroneously added "... again requesting board members to walk out..." That implies a first request to walk out. Is he just careless with wording?

Holmes and Manning (and others) fail to acknowledge the reason that the three trustees walked out of the Sept. 14th meeting. It was that information was released to them piecemeal and late. They made the right decision to leave the meeting!

All of their ramblings were unrelated to the Motion that was on the floor. That motion was to approve the agenda. A Parliamentarian would have gotten the board back on track!

Then Manning slammed Agostini (not by name) for voting against approval of the agenda in many meetings. He said "board members", but he was referring to Agostini. She has, in fact, a very good reason for voting "No" on the agenda in meeting after meeting. Manning snide comment was not germane to the discussion and should have been cut off. However, Holmes did not cut him off.

At 1:25:54 Holmes decided that she wanted to say something. At that time the only thing she should have said was "Now we'll vote." Remeber the motion on the floor? The one to approve the agenda?

Holmes read Board Policy BE about special-called meetings.It was already typed up and ready to be read. She said what's new about that meeting was the "attitude" about it. She made an erroneous statement that nothing could be added to the agenda of a special-called board meeting. SHE IS FLAT WRONG. Then she proceeded to drag on about what did not get handled at the Sept. 14th meeting. Her comments were not germane (remember that word from the last meeting that seemed to come out of the ether?) to approving last night's agenda!

She referred to a "COVAD" ("Excuse me, COVID") update. She stated, erroneously, how "everybody" was "miraculously" concerned about those issues at this meeting but not on Sept. 14. Holmes maligned the three walk-out board members for not wanting to vote their conscience and Holmes said (1:29:00) "... they were waiting for certain other people to give them directive as to how to (unintelligble) disrupt the proceedings of this board." DEFAMATORY!


The Holmes makes a confusing, and wrong, statement about Public Participation.

Remember that Holmes was nominated by Manning on June 29th to be board chair, shortly after a "member of the public" (yours truly) implored the full board to nominate only persons who were fully entitled to be on the board and therefore eligible to be a board officer. Holmes is not legitimately on the board (she has never taken the oath of office legally) and so cannot legitimately be the board chair. But there she is.

There was no issue whatsoever about "fairness" in a decision to have or not have Public Participation. 

(1:31:00) Holmes then accused "certain (board) members" on not having done their "due diligence" of providing a vote (at the Sept. 14 board meeting on the superintendent's contract. Holmes does not even know what "due diligence" is. 

(1:31:15) Then she announced the next special-called board meeting. 

Remember now. The agenda for the night's meeting has not been approved yet!!! 

See the next article.

9/22/21-II Meeting - Opening. No Call to Order

Part II

On the livestream recording of last night's meeting, nothing happens until 14:33. You can sit there and stare at the notice that the meeting starts at 5:30PM, or you can fast-forward to 14:33.

Is the 9/22/21 meeting even a legal meeting? 

Notice that Teresa Holmes never even calls the meeting to order. I thought that was what happened last night and confirmed it by watchng the recording this morning. As the recording begins at 14:33, she is holding papers and looking off to her left. She seems to confirm her microphone is on and then laughs and giggles. Then she fiddles with her hair. What is she laughing at? Is someone speaking to her through an earpiece? Is that why she is laughing? When she starts speaking, she hasn't gotten any visual cue from the left.

Her first words are "Good evening. Before we go into executive session, I am going to read you all something." Holmes then referred to an end-of-August S.C. School Boards Assn. training where a lawyer recommended that a special-called meeting for the sole purpose of conducting a superintendent's evaluation process be held. She considers the contract revision to be part of the process.

Then she proceeded to lecture the audience about "a little history". 

Before I continue with the analysis, keep in mind it has been the tradition of Richland 2 to exclude Public Participation from special-called meetings. I assert that the superintendent knew that well when, on Sept. 14, he requested a special-called meeting. After all, why have a roomful of people who oppose a raise for him and the manner in which it was attempted?

Holmes then continued with "history", which nobody needed to hear. She spoke about a 2018 meeting, which was at the time of Hurricane Florence. No one cared what was on that 2018 agenda. That was before Holmes was even elected to the board (not to belabor the fact that it was also before she ever became a legal member of the board - which she still has not.). She beat to death that 2018 meeting sequence, which was for a superintendent's evaluation, not the contract.

At 18:05 Holmes asked for a motion to go into executive session.

NOTE: Holmes never called the meeting to order. Without that, NO meeting had officially started. Was the secret "executive session" meeting, in fact, an illegal meeting of the school board, out of view of the public?

It is no different than had the seven met at a private room in a restaurant to talk for an hour about the superintendent's contract; i.e., to discuss the business of the District.

Should Richland 2 end up in court over this? (And other legal matters?) Hint: the correct answer is "Yes."

McKie moved to "recess public session" (which had never officially started) and enter executive session. Caution-Parker made her contribution of the evening by seconding that motion. Holmes asked for a hand vote "as all of us do not have our devices ready". Why not?

NO ONE spoke up about the failure of Holmes to call the meeting to order. At 18:50 they left for the secret, illegal meeting.

I had noticed Holmes' failure to call the meeting to order and said so to the two members of the audience seated in front of me.

If the District had a Parliamentarian, that person would have corrected the error right then and there and prevented a violation of the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act.  Title 30, Chapter 4.

The meeting resumed at 1:16:48. Holmes announced the time as 6:30 and proceeded to call the meeting to order. WRONG! It was actually time to re-convene the meeting, but that could not occur because the meeting had never officially started!

And then Holmes proceeded to call for a motion to go into executive session, but she stopped herself. Where was her brain? Fully engaged in the present meeting? I. Don't. Think. So.

Analysis continued in next articles.

9/22/21-I Meeting - Chaos!

Part I

Who referred to last night's meeting as chaos? (Before I did, I mean.)

WACH.TV (Columbia's Fox TV 57)

"Richland Two board meeting erupts in chaos before passing new Superintendent contract"

WIS-TV: Found the story earlier on my phone, but at 8:15AM there is no story on about last night's board meeting.

The State: Reporter Lucas Daprile was kind to Richland 2, using words like "infighting", "bickering", and "fractures".

Post and Courier: "heated exchanges", and quoting Holmes: "dereliction of duty", "antics".

"Columbia-area board OKs superintendent contract week after walkout amid new tensions"

Last night's meeting was a classic example of how not to conduct a board meeting. When a meeting disintegrates into chaos and name-calling, you have to first look at the leadership (if there is any).

In the case of the Richland 2 board, leadership is severely lacking. In a serious of articles to follow, I'll give clear examples of the lack of leadership. 

If you didn't attend last night, in-person or online, you can catch the replay at

Select the September 22, 2021 meeting.

Notice the carelessness of Richland 2 in the title, "092221SpecialCalledBoardOfTrusteesMeetin". They'll probably edit that, but this is what it looked like this morning.

                                                                       (Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Call three trustees by 3:00PM (9/22/21)

The superintendent of Richland 2, if he had any humility, would request the board chair (who is not even legitimately the board chair) to cancel tonight's special-called board meeting. 

He should put the students and the District first and ask the board consider his compensation at a Regular Meeting (Sept. 28) where Public Participation is scheduled.

He won't; so call Trustees Agostini, Scott and McFadden today BEFORE 3:00PM today (Sept. 22) and ask them not to attend the meeting tonight. If none of the three attends, there will not be a quorum, and there won't be a meeting.

Trustee Lashonda McFadden: 803.351.7409

Trusteee Monica Scott: 803.200.2121

Trustee Lindsay Agostini: 803.530.5571

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

What if only four show on Sept. 22?

What will happen if only "The Four" show up at the September 22nd Special-Called Board Meeting? "The Four" are Holmes, McKie, Caution-Parker and Manning.

There won't be a meeting, because there won't be a quorum.

Even if Lashonda McFadden shows up, making five there, there will NOT be a legal quorum. There will be only three legal members of the board.

Even if Monica Elkins shows up, there won't be a legal quorum. There will be only four legal members of the board.

That's because Holmes and McKie are not legitimate members of the board. Neither has EVER taken the oath of office legally.

For there to be a legal quorum, Caution-Parker, Manning, McFadden, Elkins AND Agostini will have to show up.

But look how the balance shifts with that legal quorum.

After the superintendent's proposed revised contract is discussed in executive (secret) session, the board will reconvene in public session.

Caution-Parker or Manning will move to approve it; the other will second it. There will be more discussion.

Perhaps the objectionable terms of the proposed contract will be discussed in public.

Then there will be a vote.

One possible result of a vote by the five legal, legitimate members of the board would be 2-3, resulting in a failure to approve.

Caution-Parker and Manning will vote to approve.

Agostini, Elkins and McFadden could vote against approving. Maybe they don't like the perks. Maybe they think they raise is too large. Maybe they think teachers, aides, lunchroom workers, bus drivers, secretaries ought to get a raise before the superintendent does.

Result? 2-3 and Fail.

Or Holmes and McKie could vote, and then the outcome will be 4-3 or 5-2 or 6-1.

The best outcome tomorrow will be if Agostini, Elkins and McFadden just don't show up.

Then Holmes can show her true colors. How would she handle such a rebuke? Would she just announce that, because there is not a quorum, there is no meeting. And say nothing else?

O.K. Standing by to take your bets now.

Chair should cancel 9/22 Special Meeting

THE responsible decision for the board chair would be to cancel the September 22 Special-Called Meeting.

Of course, it never should have been called in the first place. But you did hear the superintendent's request; right?

Supt. Davis said on September 14, ""It would be the recommendation of the superintendent for the board chair to consider a special-called board meeting with only the superintendent's contract on that board meeting..." 

Is that not pretentious? Self-serving? Ego-driven?

Why would he say "... the recommendation of the superintendent..."? He IS the superintendent. He's sitting right there. He is the one speaking. He's not talking about someone behind the curtain. He is talking about himself.

Why didn't he say, "I would appreciate your considering my proposed revised contract at your earliest convenience, perhaps at a special meeting next week"?

Of course, Teresa Holmes is going to do whatever he asks. You'd think she works for him and not the other way around.

Where's McKie on all this? Why isn't she demanding that her laundry list of student-centered items get on a special-called meeting agenda ahead of the superintendent's contract?

And same with Caution-Parker and Manning?

Who's first? The students or the superintendent? The answer is clear from the agenda for tomorrow night's meeting.

Trustees Agostini, Scott and McFadden can at least control the superintendent's not being more important than the students by just not showing up tomorrow night. ALL THREE need not to show up. If one of them shows, there will be a quorum, and the superintendent will get his raise and the other perks he wants.

$20 Technology Fee? A profit center?

(Click to enlarge)

This Notice was posted for website visitors at Rice Creek Elementary to see first-thing.

In case you can't read the fine print, the mandatory $20 annual fee pays for the first repair for accidental damage and for replacement, if the device is stolen and reported to law enforcement. It does not replace a lost device.

How many computers or similar devices does Richland 2 hand out? 28,000?

At $20/year each, that's $560,000.

Is this fund self-insured? If not, it ought to be, because it could probably provide a $400,000 profit to Richland 2. 

Can parents see a report on the Richland 2 website about fees vs. expenses? Could the fund still be profitable at $10/year? or less?

How big of a profit-center is the $20 annual Technology Fee?

Monday, September 20, 2021

Who defamed whom?

Does Teresa Holmes have any idea what defamation is? 

Start listening when Trustee McFadden begins her explanation for not wanting to vote on the superintendent’s proposed revised contract at the Sept. 14th meeting. That’s at 1:29:40

Listen especially to the argument at 1:32:20 on the recording, when Holmes accused McFadden of defaming board members. McFadden was explaining about how late she received the proposed revised contract for the superintendent, and she said, “We already know they got four that are going to vote for it.”

Holmes not only interrupted her, but Holmes argued and asserted that McFadden was defaming The Four (Holmes, McKie, Caution-Parker, Manning) by saying that. McFadden was not!

You can also hear Holmes apparently talking to someone near her, although her words are not clearly audible on the recording. McFadden heard her, though.

Proper and courteous procedure is that you don’t interrupt the person who is speaking, even if you don't agree with them. One board member, not even the chair, is not to argue with another; yet that’s exactly what Holmes does. Holmes is supposed to maintain order; instead, she causes even more disruption.

Where in the world does Holmes get “defaming other board members”, when she hears McFadden say that she know four who are already planning to vote for the revised contract I wish McFadden had not apologized. No apology was needed. 

When McKie referred to McFadden’s comments as “pretty juvenile”, was that defamatory?

Holmes' "door" only swings one way.

Why "The Three" Should Boycott 9/22 Meeting

There are good reasons for "The Three" to boycott the Special-Called Meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 22.

1. There is no emergency. It's not like the superintendent will miss a few meals, if he doesn't get a raise.
2. The superintendent's proposed revised contract is the only item on the agenda.
3. The superintendent put himself before the important issues facing the School District, when he said on Sept. 14, "It would be the recommendation of the superintendent for the board chair to consider a special-called board meeting with only the superintendent's contract on that board meeting..." 

In other words, "Pick me. Pick me. Pick me."

Perhaps the most important reason for "The Three" to skip that meeting would be to begin re-training "The Four" and the superintendent to pay more attention to "The Three" and to furnish complete information on a timely basis to them before all board meetings.

Upon information and belief, Tuesday night was not the first time that the trustees (the minority group) have had trouble getting all the information on which to make a decision.

A board member should have to ask only once for information. Repeated requests should not be necessary. Nor should it be necessary to ask again and again for more details. Complete information should be provided to all at the same time. If there are updates, they should be given to all at the same time.

By skipping Wednesday night's meeting, the message to the board chair and the superintendent (and the vice chair) would be, "Don't mess around with us." 

So make the superintendent wait his turn. 

On the meeting video for Sept. 14 at 1:33:20, you can hear McKie try to position herself with her 26,000 fans (voters) by falsely saying she is not one of "they" (she surely is!) and trying to console the parents about their not getting reports that night on student appeals, student __(unintelligible)____ center, the Proviso 1.108, 6th grade advantage, Spanish language, update on COVID, draft agenda for the next meeting, that night's Public Participation speakers. McKie rattled those off so quickly it was hard to follow and type.

So, why did Holmes call a special meeting for the superintendent's contract, instead of one or more of those more important issues??? 

Every one of the issues on the Sept. 14 agenda is more important than revising his already-lucrative contract.

Just in case you are wondering ...

"The Three" are Agostini, Scott, McFadden

"The Four" are Holmes, McKie, Caution-Parker, Manning

COVID Update by Supt.

If you haven't seen this yet, here is the superintendent's 9/17/2021 COVID update.

B-U-T I must add that I did NOT like his introduction!

He says that he/they have heard from some Richland 2 family members that they tuned into the September 14th board meeting to hear the COVID update. He continues,

"Some of (nearly unintelligible) the Richland Two board of trustees, along with myself, sincerely regret that we were unable to update you on Tuesday. So, we wanted to bring the information directly to you with this video. We want to take this time to thank you for taking time out of your schedule to watch it..." 

Sorry. Wrong words! His words cause the viewer to think that someone "else" was at fault - was responsible for the breakdown on Tuesday night. Someone else caused the meeting to stop and prevented the update. Regret is a "feelings" word. The board deals with information, facts and accuracy. Boards don't have "feelings".

Well, that isn't the way it was.

First, do (all?) "members of the board of trustees" regret that the meeting was cut short? No, four of them might. I had to listen to it 4-5 times to understand "Some of the Richland Two board of trustees..." So he isn't speaking for all; he's not speaking for the board, but only for some of the board.

Who authorized him to speak for the board and in that way? Hint: No one did. No one could. The meeting ended with no action being taken.

Place the fault where it belongs. The flow of information about the superintendent's negotiated proposed revised contract was distributed in a sporadic, ill-timed and uneven manner. Not everyone got the same information at the same time.

A flurry of phone calls on Monday and Tuesday meant that everyone did not get the same information at the same time. And maybe not even the same information (unless it was a recorded message).

From what McKie said on Sept. 14 she got the information and well ahead of the meeting. Well, she is part of the "they". And how would she know who got what and when? Manning seemed to manage the information distribution and flow. McKie had just heard, if she was listening, that Agostini, Scott and McFadden DID NOT get information early enough to digest it. Was she choosing not to believe what the three had just said?

What the superintendent should have said was, "Here is up-to-date information on COVID."  If he wasn't going to lay the blame squarely and honestly on those responsible for the distribution of information about what he wants in his revised contract, he should have left that out.

And why didn't he just say "Some members of the Board and I regret..." He's a guy who got $1,400 for two speeches in 2020. Is there an English teacher who can help him?

Open Letter to Board re Robert's Rules

 The following email has been sent to the five legal board members and trustees-elect Holmes and McKie.

Members of the Board and trustees-elect Holmes and McKie,

On November 19, 2019 Attorney Helen McFadden conducted a workshop on Robert's Rules of Order.

In view of the chaotic board meeting on September 14, 2021, at which a quorum was lost when three trustees walked out, I urge you to contract Attorney McFadden to return with additional and intensive training.

Please pay her to view the entire meeting (the public meeting re-convenes at 1:14:08 on and to train, direct and coach the board how to conduct a meeting properly.


Resident, Richland School District Two

The Value of Video-recorded Meetings

The video-recording of the September 14, 2021 regular board meeting would make a great Case Study in "How Not to Run a Board Meeting". See it at

At 1:36:39 Teresa Holmes, acting as chair (even though she is not a legitimate member of the board and cannot serve legitimately as chair) says that, as chair and in her 30 years as an educator, "I've never seen this happen before."

The important question is, What was the connection between what happened in that meeting and her sitting in the chair's seat?

The board desperately needs training in how to conduct board meetings and in the application of Robert's Rules of Order. 

On November 19, 2019 the board held a special-called meeting (workshop) that included training by Attorney Helen McFadden, an expert in Robert's Rules of Order. The board would be well-advised to get her back ASAP for further training.

If Attorney McFadden (no relation to Trustee Lashonda McFadden) sat with the board, played the video-recording of the September 14th meeting and stopped it every time something wrong was said or done, they'd be there for eight hours. Maybe longer.

A Richland 2 staffer could not conduct such a training, unless it was on her last day at work. It will take a person who is completely independent of the District. Pay Attorney McFadden $1,500 and give her free rein.

Richland 2 should appoint an independent Parliamentarian to attend meetings. All trustees should agree that they will listen to, respect, and accept the decisions of the parliamentarian. 

Staff attorney Karla Hawkins was asked on September 14 about whether a secondary motion was germane to the primary motion. That's not a legal question; that's a parliamentary question. And her answer, "It could go either way", was not correct. A correct answer would have been Yes or No. It is, or it isn't. 

Watch Holmes Disrespect McFadden

This story is about the September 14, 2021 Regular Board Meeting. View it at

As I looked this morning for the superintendent's request on September 14th for a special-called board meeting consider the proposed revised contact, I happened to watch again the portion of the Sept. 14th meeting when Trustee Scott left the meeting, followed by Trustee Agostini.

At 1:23:40 Holmes erroneously ruled that Agostini's secondary motion is not germane to McKie's motion to approve that night's agenda. Wow! Nothing could have been more germane than Agostini's motion!

At 1:23:57 Trustee Scott expresses her displeasure with what is happening and leaves the meeting. She mentions "giving Dr. Davis a raise", which reveals to the public what was discussed in executive session and provides important insight into her solid reasoning about not participating further in the meeting.

At 1:25:54 Trustee Agostini asks to be recognized. She states that she is in agreement with Dr. Elkins-Scott and that she will be leaving the meeting.

At 1:26:32 Trustee McFadeen asks to be recognized.


Holmes says, "Just a second, Ms. McFadden. I'm sure you are going to join the rest."

A board member should have immediately jumped on Holmes about that. But, other than Mrs. McFadden, who was left? Only "The Four" - Holmes, Manning, McKie and Caution-Parker. Since Holmes was not going to object to her disrespectful, snide, unprofessional, snarky words, that left Manning, McKie and Caution-Parker, and not one of them could be counted on to step up and demand an apology to Mrs. McFadden.

Holmes then asks Manning to speak. Wrong! McFadden was next in line.

Mrs. McFadden continues to ask to be recognized. Watch Queen Holmes continue to shut her down. That was out-of-order. Holmes correct choice would have been to recognize McFadden, but she knew what was coming. An end to the meeting, because there would no longer be a quorum.

At 1:29:39 Mrs. McFadden is finally recognized. She states her objections about short timing. She refers to a list of what the superintendent wanted in his new contract. It wasn't provided to her. Holmes interrupts McFadden with mumbling. 

Holmes again improperly interrupted McFadden, after she said, "We already know we got four that's going to vote for it (the contract)." Holmes argued with McFadden, while she had the floor. Holmes had not authority to interrupt, argue and challenge McFadden. Holmes didn't like what McFadden was saying and attempted to shut her down. It didn't work. Listen to McFadden's strong remarks. Firm, polite, straight-forward.

If Holmes had not spoken to McFadden as she did, if she had not argued with her and treated her like a child, McFadden probably would have stayed in the meeting. Then finally McKie's motion to approve the agenda would have been voted on, and the vote would have been 4-1; that is, 4 Yea, 1 Nay, 0 Abstain, 2 Not Present at Vote.

At 1:33:22 McKie was recognized. Watch McKie's sad refrain when she tries to get herself out of the "they" group. McKie is squarely in line with "The Four", what I call "the cabal" or "The Squad". Squarely! 

Then Manning responded to McFadden's remarks about the Proviso. His comments were out-of-order; they were not germane to the motion. He should have been interrupted, but Holmes does not know enough about parliamentary procedures to know when and how to cut off unrelated remarks.

While McKie is rambling away or Manning is speaking, McFadden packs up and leaves.

But with McFadden's departure, there was no longer a quorum.

Still, it took another 15 minutes until the meeting was adjourned at 1:49:05.

Holmes rambled on in a Point of Privilege.

Oh, yes, when did the superintendent ask for a special-called meeting, so he could get his raise?

At 1:39:28 the superintendent informed Holmes that there was no quorum and they would have to adjourn. 

In a boring, low-toned monotone, he explained the board policy about adjourning when no quorum, and he continued right on with "It would be the recommendation of the superintendent for the board chair to consider a special-called board meeting with only the superintendent's contract on that board meeting..."


Remember how "they" say it's all for the children? Seriously? His raise is more important than the health and safety of the children?

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Open Message to the Board re Sept. 22 Meeting

The following e-mail has been sent to the board today.

Members of the Board and trustees-elect Holmes and McKie,

I urge you to cancel the Sept. 22 Special-Called board meeting and place the superintendent's contract  discussion and decision on the agenda of the Regular Meeting for September 28.

Since it is the public that pays the superintendent's compensation, please allow the public's input through Public Participation, not just individual emails and telephone calls that don't get compiled and publicized.

You can avoid the illusion of subterfuge, collusion and conspiracy by conducting the business of the School Board with complete transparency and by answering fully to the public on September 28.

If the Sept. 22 meeting is not canceled, I urge Trustees Agostini, Scott and McFadden not to attend the meeting, resulting in no quorum.

If the Sept. 22 meeting is held, the legal members of the board (Agostini, Scott, McFadden, Manning, Caution-Parker) will constitute a quorum. Holmes and McKie are not legitimate members of the board and should not be present or voting.

A legal vote by the five legal members of the board might look like this:

Motion to approve the superintendent's revised contract:
Yea: Caution-Parker, Manning
Nay: Agostini, Scott, McFadden
Result: 2-3. Motion fails

I request a trustee at the Sept. 28 meeting to make a motion to allow the board to respond to public comments and questions at that meeting.


Gus Philpott

Saturday, September 18, 2021

No Raise for the Superintendent!

I can think of one good reason not to approve a raise for the superintendent.

When he sat in the August 16 Special-Called Board Meeting and witnessed the discussion about a motion that Manning was going to make to seek legal advice, but had heard the legal advice given during the meeting and knew there was an understanding that he could proceed with legal action (lawsuit) if Manning's motion passed, he should have informed the board that they were wrong to handle it that way.

Wasn't he worried that it might backfire on him? Just as it has?

The superintendent is an employee of THE DISTRICT. He doesn't work for Holmes, Manning, Caution-Parker and McKie. 

The superintendent must know the rules for executive sessions and what can take place therein. He would have had to know that what they were doing was wrong. Very wrong.

Even though his employment seems shockproof (it takes five to fire him), it's not. As superintendent, he has a fiduciary duty to The District, his employer. 

Will "the Four" (the cabal; The Squad) have the integrity to acknowledge their error and discipline the superintendent for his complicity by not further considering any changes in his employment contract at this time? And how should they discipline, criticize, punish, sanction themselves? They knew better, too.

I'm really struggling with using the word "integrity" in the same sentence as "the Four". But I'll leave it there as a lofty goal. 

Trustees Agostini, Scott and McFadden absolutely clear the high bar, when it comes to Integrity. 

There's a song running through my mind now. I wonder why. 
Here it is: