Thursday, August 26, 2021

Is this a motion?

When a school board member says, "I would like to make a motion that ...", is that a motion?

It is not. 

The board member is expressing her desire to make a motion. That doesn't not call for a Second. No action can be taken by the board on a member's expression of a desire for something. Are they going to vote on allowing the member to make a motion?

What should the Chair say? "Thank you. Will you make the motion?"

The board member should say: "I move that ...[announcing what he proposes in a wording intended to become the assembly's official statement of the action taken]." Robert's Rules of Order §4:4.

Far too much time is wasted by the Board when voting on student matters and district personnel matters. There are long lapses while the staffer types up the Motion. The Chair should tell the superintendent to place someone with high, accurate typing speed at the keyboard for typing motions.

This board desperately needs parliamentary training. And it needs an independent Parliamentarian. The Parliamentarian must be independent and not an employee. Correcting the Chair and the superintendent often would not be good for employment security.

Board Chair Wrong to Deny Agostini Request

Remember at the Special-Called board meeting of August 16 when Trustee Agostini asked for more information about Manning's motion to get legal advice about Proviso 1.108?

If you don't remember or missed it, listen to the recording of the August 16, 2021 meeting. Re-read my article about the rude manner in which Teresa Holmes shut down Mrs. Agostini. Holmes said they (the board) couldn't talk about what had been discussed in executive meeting.

I understand that Holmes didn't want to allow discussion, but she was wrong when she claimed that the board "could not" discuss it.

Robert's Rules of Order addresses this at §9:26 Rules Relating to the Secrecy of an Executive Session. This Section reads, in part, "The general rule is that anything that occurs in executive session may not be divulged to nonmembers (except any entitled to attend). However, action taken, as distinct from that which was said in debate, may be divulged to the extend - and only to the extent - necessary to carry it out. ... If the assembly wishes to further lift the secrecy of action taken in an executive session, it may adopt a motion to do so, which is a motion to Amend Something Previously Adopted ..."

The superintendent must have been authorized in the Executive Session to file the lawsuit in the S.C. Supreme Court. There had to be discussion about moving ahead. I cannot imagine that the superintendent would have stuck his neck out so far and filed the lawsuit without the permission, approval and authorization of the board. And THAT is what should have been divulged when Mrs. Agostini asked for more information for the public.