Thursday, September 23, 2021

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.

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