Tuesday, August 17, 2021

On Your Toes, Folks - What's Up with "Naming"

There's something up someone's sleeve for the August 24th Regular Board Meeting. Start paying attention now.

At the August 10th Regular Meeting the draft agenda was proposed. At 1:56:20 in the recording of the second (Length, 2:15:50) of the three recordings of the meeting, the superintendent read the draft agenda. The draft agenda is normally developed by the board chair and the superintendent at the end of the week preceding a meeting. What he read was what should have been agreed to at that planning meeting. 

The board chair then (1:57:59) stumbled over her words, trying to ask for a motion to approve the draft agenda. At that point the superintendent interrupted. He asked the board to consider adding to the draft agenda a review of Board Policy FF Naming New Facilities. The superintendent had had a discussion with Trustee Scott who had a suggestion, and he said her suggestion required a discussion.

That constitutes a change in the process. Trustee Scott should have proposed her suggestion for consideration by the chair and the superintendent when the two of them were creating the agenda for the August 24th Regular Meeting.

Otherwise, during Discussion after the Motion, Trustee Scott should have made a motion to amend the draft agenda. If her motion was seconded (although Robert's Rules of Order §49:21, 2)) says no second is necessary), there would have been discussion and she could have explained what was up her sleeve.

After the superintendent spoke, a Motion was still on the floor. However, Holmes ignored the motion that had been made and then asked for a motion to approve the draft agenda with the addition offered by the superintendent. He does not have the authority to make such an addition unilaterally.

McKie jumped right in line to move it forward, with the addition of "Dr. Davis' suggestion." It wasn't his suggestion; it was Trustee Scott's suggestion, offered by the superintendent. Trustee Caution-Parker, a faithful member of Team Holmes, seconded it.

There was no discussion, and the draft agenda, as amended, was approved 6-1.

Why didn't any board member ask Trustee Scott what was on her mind? Is there a new facility coming that will need a name? What is it? Since staff will have to know more information, so that it can come up with the wording of a proposed change to Board Policy FF before August 24, it would be nice for the public to know, too.

Read Board Policy FF Naming New Facilities. Somehow, I doubt the District will build a new mediations center and want to name it Philpott Arbitration and Mediation Center.

Blank Check to R2 attorney? Proviso 1.108

Last night the school board decided (6-1) to toss a problem in the lap of the attorney for the District, rather than making the decision they are elected to make.

The S.C. Dept. of Education issued Proviso 1.108. Richland 2 apparently doens't like it.

Trustee Agostini was correct last night to ask, when it was time for the board to vote on the executive session topic, just what the board was asking the attorney for. The board should have disclosed more to the public. It could have, but Teresa Holmes shut down Mrs. Agostini.

Holmes was wrong. More information could have been disclosed to the public about the nature of the request to the attorney. Just what is it that the board wants to know.

Perhaps Agostini should have made a Motion to more information, rather than asking a question. Then her motion would have needed action. Her motion would not have needed a second (Robert's Rules of Order §49:21, 2)) in order to move to Discussion.

Unfortunately, the board is composed of too many followers and too few free-thinking, independent members). They should be more curious about what is Right, instead of just going along with the crowd.

My guess is that the board doesn't like Proviso 1.108 and wants to oppose it. What is Proviso 1.108? Passed in June by the S.C. legislature, in summary it is: "No school district, or any of its schools, may use any funds appropriated or authorized pursuant to this act to require that its students and/or employees wear a facemask at any of its education facilities."

How much will the District spend to get the opinion from the attorney? Did they just write a blank check? Should the board have put a cap on legal fees, such as $10,000?