Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Open Letter to R2 School Board

The following letter is being emailed to the five legal trustees of the Richland 2 school board and the two trustees-elect who are usurping public office by acting like board members. A copy is being sent to the attorney for the District and to an attorney who has previously provided FOIA and Robert's Rules of Order training to the board.

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

Last night's board meeting opener was memorable, and not in a good way.

When Mrs. Agostini asked for her Nay vote to be counted in the vote to approve going into executive session, Holmes replied, "I don't need to ask. I'm conducting this meeting, Ms. Agostini, and I'll conduct it how I see fit." 

Wow! If this portends the manner in which future meetings will be conducted, I urge you to purchase your own copy of Robert's Rules of Order and to hire Attorney Helen McFadden to return and conduct a thorough training in the correct way to run a meeting, including Open Meetings and FOIA. The District should hire an independent parliamentarian (not an employee, who would be subject to termination for going against the chair or the superintendent). I urge you to confer with your personal legal counsel to determine the extent of personal liability you have, should you not object to abuse of procedures.

The "Holmes Way", the "I'm the Queen and I say so", is not the right way to run a meeting. Please review Board policy about respecting one another. 

Robert's Rules of Order §4:35, reads, in part: "The chair must always call for the negative vote, no matter how nearly unanimous the affirmative vote may appear ...if any member objects, the chair must call for the negative vote."

Board Policy BC Board Member Conduct states, in part, "Work harmoniously with other board members without trying either to dominate the board or neglect one's share of the work." Did Holmes violate that policy last night? What are the consequences for violating a board policy?

Holmes owes Mrs. Agostini an honest, sincere and public apology.

Later Holmes was incorrect when she advised parents with questions about masks to contact the Ombudsman or a board member. The correct answer is to contact District Administration. 

Is there even still an ombudsman? I emailed her on July 10, 2021 and have not received an acknowledgement or reply.

Holmes is not even a legitimate member of the board, and she was not eligible to be nominated to the position of board Chair. McKie is similarly not a legitimate board member or legitimate board Secretary. Teresa Holmes and Amelia McKie have never taken the oath of office (legally). The oath that was administered on November 13, 2018, has no meaning whatsoever, because neither was eligible to take the oath on that date. And they have not taken the oath legally since becoming eligible on December 4, 2018.

The District filed fraudulent, notarized oath of office documents with the South Carolina Secretary of State. Holmes and McKie are usurping public office, and Holmes and McKie should be prevented from taking seats at the board. The five legal members of the board can act.

As a resident in Richland 2, I ask each of you to step forward and insist on a correction to this most serious problem.


Gus Philpott

8/10/21 Board Meeting - The Start is a Must-see

At first, I wondered why Richland 2 didn't record the start of its board meeting. The meeting was scheduled to start at 5:00PM.

Did something occur during the beginning minutes of the meeting that the District would prefer the public not to know about? You bet! See below.

While normally the Board quickly adjourns to Executive Session, that is not always the case. A board member might have a comment to make, and the public is entitled to hear it.

The first video I viewed was actually the end of the August 10th meeting and the recording started with Holmes calling the meeting to order (re-convening) and asking for a motion 

For the first 17 seconds, background "noise" (unintelligible conversation) can be heard on the recording of the meeting. At 00:17 on the recording Holmes (or someone else) can be heard saying, "OK, ummm". At 00:34 Holmes asks, "Y'all wanna go home?" At 00.39 Holmes says, "My people, y'all wanna go home?" The video comes on, and Holmes giggles. At 00:47 she raps the gavel and asks for a motion to come back [sic] out of executive session.

Can you believe that? Who are "My people"? If I had been sitting on the board last night, I would have stood and walked out. Right after marching up to Holmes and stating, "I am not 'your people'!"

The six seated there are not "her people". They are fellow board members. EQUAL board members. Well, except for McKie and Holmes herself, who have never taken the oath of office legally.

I emailed the District and was directed to Once there, I saw three video panels to the right.

The top one (Length 03:20) is the end of the meeting and begins after the second executive session.

The middle one (Length 2:15:50) starts at 20:35. The video begins with the re-convened meeting after the first executive session.

The third video (Length 17:07) is the beginning of the 8/10/2021 meeting. The video starts at 14:54.

 This is the one you want to see. This is where the first fireworks are. Holmes, acting as chair even though she is not a legitimate member of the board or the legitimate chair, calls the meeting to order. A motion was made and seconded to enter executive session. When discussion was asked for, Holmes was looking around and then recognized Trustee Agostini. 

Agostini requested that the board postpone discussing the superintendent's evaluation, because she just received materials the day before after 5:00pm. Holmes said Agostini's concern was noted and asked for further discussion. Agostini restated that she wishes to make a motion to postpone the evaluation. Agostini's motion failed for lack of a second. (NOTE: Robert's Rules of Order 49:21 Procedure in Small Boards (less than a dozen members): "2) Motions need not be seconded.") Holmes moved on to the vote, while tapping her fingers (I'd say, in annoyance). Watch Holmes' expression. 

There was a hand vote (Agostini did not raise her hand). Holmes announced that the motion passes, without referring to a count of votes. Agostini stated to Holmes that Holmes had not asked for those opposed.

In a very snippy tone of voice, Holmes said, "I don't need to ask. I'm conducting this meeting, Ms. Agostini, and I'll conduct it how I see fit."

SMACK DOWN! Wow! Is this an indication of how future board meerings will be run?

It's Teresa's way or the highway. 

I will watch the rest of the meeting later.