Thursday, September 2, 2021

Here is the solution to the Proviso 1.108 problem

Soon the whining, blaming and gnashing of teeth over Proviso 1.108 will exceed the clamor over immigration, Afghanistan, Hurricane Ida, climate change, and all the other horrors of 2021.

So here's the solution. One of the lawyers mentioned it during the S.C. Supreme Court hearing.

The Supreme Court didn't tell the City of Columbia it can't mandate masks. It hit Columbia over the head and told it that State law is superior to Columbia (City) law.

If the Court rules the same way for Richland 2, a simple bookkeeping fix is all that is needed.

Decide that 1% of teachers' and administrators' time is used to announce and enforce masks. Then deal with the teachers' union (or collective bargaining or Red4Ed or whatever the group is) and tell them that their pay will be reduced 1% and then a separate check from a fund that does not contain State dollars this year will be issued for that 1%.

Re-program the computers and it's done.

Now fire the lawyers and get back to work.

S.C.S.C. shoots down City of Columbia

The South Carolina Supreme Court shot down the City of Columbia over Proviso 1.108. It made the right decision. At the beginning of the hearing, a justice said the case was not about masks, mandates or politics. It was about the Law.

Some reporters don't understand what the case was about.

The Court should announce its decision about Richland 2.

Richland 1 in court over Executive Session reported on September 1, 2021 that a Richland One parent is suing Richland School District One for, among other things, conducting a discussion in a closed meeting that should have been held in the open.

Richland One parent Flynn Bowie, Jr. has filed the suit. As of this morning, the case is not yet listed on the courts' Public Index. When it is, I'll report which court it is in.

Public bodies, such as school boards, can conduct certain discussions in private, secret Executive Sessions. Richland Two does this at almost every school board meeting. However, it is legal to discuss only certain topics as listed among Exclusions in the FOI Act of the State.

The only recourse a citizen has in South Carolina is to file a lawsuit, as Mr. Bowie has done.

In Illinois the Office of the Attorney General includes the Public Access Counselor (PAC). The PAC acts as a buffer zone between the public and a public body. I appealed often to the PAC, as did others. When a public body denied a FOIA request, it could be appealed to the PAC. The PAC would investigate. Often it sided with the citizen and directed the public body to reply more fully, or in full, to a FOIA request.

But if the public body still refusesd the PAC in Illinois had no teeth to sink into the public body. The further recourse of the person whose FOIA request was denied was to go to court. I knew a reporter who did just that. His attorney took the case pro bono, but with the condition she'd get paid if the lawsuit was successful. It was, and it cost the sheriff's department there $80,000 for being so bull-headed. 

South Carolina gives a citizen no such help from the Attorney General. If a parent or citizen is stiff-armed by a public body, the only recourse is court.

Which brings to me ... Richland 2.

Should Richland 2 be forced to reveal any decisions made on August 16, 2021 Executive Session about authorizing the superintendent to go ahead with a lawsuit without further discussion or authorization by the full school board?