Monday, August 16, 2021

R2 School Board - 2 Vacant Seats for 2¾ Years

 The Richland 2 School Board has had two vacant seats for 2¾ years - since November 13, 2018. 

Why hasn't the Board declared the vacancies and notified the Richland County Elections Commission to hold a Special Election to fill the seats? Are Mizaru, Kikazaru and Iwazaru lurking there on the board?

At each board meeting you'll see all seven board seats filled, but two of the seats are filled by women who shouldn't be sitting in them. Amelia McKie and Teresa Holmes.

Why shouldn't they be sitting in them? Because they have never taken the oath of office - legally.

They took an oath on November 13, 2018, but that was before they were eligible to do so. That oath has no legal significance. They were qualified to take it (because they had been elected), but they were not eligible to take it. The oath documents were notarized and sent to the S.C. Secretary of State. 

Those forms were worthless. Should District 2 notify the S.C. Secretary of State that those notarized forms are worthless and that they should not have been filed?

Should the District admit its error and call for a Special Election? Or should it now administer the oath of office to Holmes and McKie and finally seat them legally?

On December 4, 2018 Holmes and McKie filed their Statements of Economic Interests (SEI) with the S.C. Ethics Commission. On December 4 they first became eligible to take the oath. They have never done so.

S.C. Code of Laws 8-13-1110 reads, in part: (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.

Somebody with a Ph.D. ought to be able to understand that. Somebody with a high school education ought to be able to understand that. Heck, a third-grader could understand it.

1. You file your SEI.

2. Then you take the oath of office.

3. Then you begin your official responsibilies.

The order is 1-2-3. You can't just decide that you'll revise the order to 3-1-2 and then not do (2).

Since Holmes and McKie have neve taken the oath of office legally, they are not legal members of the board. They shouldn't be sitting there. They shouldn't attend executive sessions. They shouldn't vote. And they certainly should not be officers of the board. Also, they shouldn't get paid or receive financial benefits such as memberships and payments or reimbursements for classes, workshops, lodging, meals, travel.

They are usurping public office.

They should be removed from the board and they should be ineligible for re-election in 2022. And they should have to re-pay their salaries and the monies expended by the District for benefits.

They could have cured this problem when I addressed the School Board in March 2019. Now that they are eligible to take the oath (having filed their SEIs), all they need to do is take it.

But then the District will have to go back to November 13, 2018 and correct all the votes by the Board. Many decisions were affected by the illegitimate votes of Holmes and McKie. How many students were transferred or expelled by the votes of Holmes and McKie? McKie cannot serve as Regional Director of the S.C. School Boards Assn., because she is not a school board member.

Doesn't anyone else care?

Holmes Continues to Disrespect Agostini

What could possibly go wrong in a short Special-Called Board Meeting? You probably won't want to waste you time listening to the two recorded segments, so here it is.

It would probably be inappropriate for some board members to slap Teresa Holmes upside the head, but she needs it. Holmes disrespected Trustee Agostini at the August 10th Regular Meeting, and she did it again tonight.

The Board should spend money to hire Attorney Helen McFadden, who is an expert on Robert's Rules of Order, Open Meetings and FOIA. Holmes just does not know how to run a meeting and especially does not know how to conduct a meeting without disregarding or disrespecting Lindsay Agostini.

Agostini attended today's Special-Called Meeting by telephone, as she was driving from Chicago to Columbia. During the portion of the meeting preceding the executive session, she mentioned that she would not listen in on the executive session and specifically asked to be notified when the board re-convened in the public session. It was crystal-clear that she would miss only a portion of the meeting.

When the Board re-convened, Holmes proceeded with business, allowing Manning to make a Motion and it to be seconded. Trustee McFadden interrupted (49:30) and raised the point that Mrs. Agostini wanted to be called and notified of the public session. A staffer had apparently been working on re-establishing the phone connection in the meeting.

Once Mrs. Agostini was back in the meeting (via telephone), Holmes stumbled around and indicated that she had thought Mrs. Agostini had left the meeting permanently. It was clear that Holmes had not been paying attention to Mrs. Agostini's request to re-join the meeting. Holmes said she "forgot" that Mrs. Agostini wanted to be included after the executive session.

Holmes will never say that she "conveniently" forgot. I'll say it for her. Holmes' animosity toward Mrs. Agostini is clear, and displaying it is a violation of Board Policy BC Board Member Conduct. 

If you want to watch tonight's meeting, there are two recordings. Go to See the two videos on the right-hand panel.

The beginning of the meeting is the recording that shows a length of 26:43. Fast-foward to 09:39 for the start of the meeting. Mrs. Agostini's request to be contacted is at 25:35. Holmes said she would be sure that Ms. Agostini "got that information". (This shows she wasn't listening to Mrs. Agostini's request.)

The second portion of the meeting (after the executive session) shows a length of 53:46. Fast-foward to 48:00 for the resumption of the meeting. 

Mrs. Agostini asked for information about the motion, and Holmes said it was discussed in executive session and they "can't discuss" it. HOLMES IS WRONG. The Board could have discussed how they want to go against Proviso 1.108 and do what they want to do, and not what the S.C. Dept. of Education says they are going to do. The Board is looking for a loophole in Proviso 1.108 and is going to pay the attorney to find it. 

The board voted 6-1 to throw money at the attorney for the District. Agostini voted No.