Saturday, June 25, 2022

Congratulations, R2 School Board

I wish to offer my heartiest congratulations to the Richland 2 school board for the school year of 2021-2022.

You did it. 

You pulled off enough antics to attract the attention of the legislators, the Governor and the Inspector General.

The legislators put together a bill (Senate Bill 202) to provide for the Inspector General to investigate certain schools. S.202 was pre-filed on December 9, 2020. It stalled in the S.C. Senate after March 25, 2021.

But then, a year later on March 31, 2022, increased attention was given to it, and it is swiftly moved through the S.C. Senate and the S.C. House to a Conference Committee and to the Governor, where it was signed into law on June 17, 2022.

On June 22, 2022 Gov. McMaster directed the Inspector General to investigate Richland Two.

You'll remember that Teresa Holmes was nominated as board chair on June 29, 2021. At that same meeting James Manning was nominated as board vice chair, and Amelia McKie was nominated as board secretary. Each of the nominees was elected.

And the chaos began. The intensity of the chaos grew, and the board finally hired a consultant for "executive coaching" and parliamentary procedures. 

We know how that well worked. Soon after the second training session came April 28, 2022. A day of infamy for Richland 2. 

Holmes was quick to run to the Sheriff's Department. It wasn't her first trip. On March 20, 2019, she had filed a complaint against me. Her report, as written by a deputy, was full of false statements, and her allegations went nowhere. 

Another board member filed a complaint against me with the sheriff's department on June 17, 2022. That one went nowhere. It too contained false statements.

There ought to be a law against filing false police reports. But wait; there IS a law. Unfortunately, in both cases RCSD failed to collect handwritten statements to back up the reports at RCSD. 

Friday, June 24, 2022

Post and Courier reports on Gov. and I.G.

The Post and Courier newspaper published an article today about Gov. McMaster's directive to the State Inspector General to investigate Richland School District Two.

The following sentences were in that article.

"McFadden turned herself in to authorities two weeks later and was arrested and charged with threatening the life of a public employee. She still serves on the board despite calls for her resignation. The governor weighed removing McFadden from office but now is waiting for completion of the investigation to make that call, Symmes said." 

Now is the time to write to the Inspector General in Lashonda McFadden's defense. There is not a single person on the planet who believes that Lashonda was threatening Teresa Holmes' life.

Teresa's bringing charges against Lashonda was one of those "Getcha [sic] moments" that Caution-Parker talked about a few months ago.

I have attended and watched many board meetings. I have observed how Teresa interacted with Lashonda. How many adjectives would you like me to drag out here to describe why Lashonda hit the boiling point on April 28?

I cannot describe it any better than the fifth speaker in Public Participation did on May 25, 2022. Watch her comments here: Listen to her remarks on livestream.com/richland2 beginning at 1:25:00

I intend to submit this recording to the Inspector General. 

When Lashonda ran for office, I'm sure she had no idea that she was stepping into a snakepit. I had considered running for the school board in 2020, but only briefly. I spoke with a wise attorney in Columbia, who told me that I'd have a good platform for airing my complaints about the board. He added, "But you don't want to win." 

I had pretty much decided that the Richmond 2 school board was no place for me. Sure, I could have done the job. But I never would have put up the the drivel and nonsense that was occurring. 

I have high admiration for Lindsay Agostini, Monica Scott and Lashonda McFadden. Frankly, I don't know how they put up with the (horse manure) that goes on at board meetings and, I'm sure, in executive sessions. I'd be on my feet and walking out after 1½ hours. Craig Plank knew how to run a board meeting. Meetngs were friendly and tightly-run.

Now, look at the chaos that has taken place in this school year. Manning never should have nominated Holmes as Board Chair; she is not even a legal board member. Usually, when a board member serves a Vice Chair, s/he learns how to run a meeting. Holmes served a year as board vice chair. Did she learn anything, except how to pound the gavel six times to call the meeting to order? One time would have been sufficient. 

Next Committee of the Whole Meeting?

Is the Committee of the Whole for Safety & Security really just the bastard child of Richland 2?

Looking at the District's website today, the meeting of this Committee still shows as for June 14th at 3:30PM. That was ten days ago.

Does this really show the level of importance being given to the Committee by the Board and Administration of the District?

Why didn't Media Relations update the website once the meeting date had passed? Why wasn't the announccement of the meeting changed to a Notice of the past meeting with a link to the the livestream recording of the meeting?

Has the Committee acted to involve parents, teachers, staff, and community members in the Committee's planning? Or will it be "same ol', same ol' " - just the same staff people from before who were supposed to be improving safety and security?

Do community participants want some "say" in what is happening, or are they just willing to be spoon-fed by the Administration? Did you notice the number of times that the staffer said "our survey" during the presentation on June 14th? And the staff's assumption that guns were the most important issue in safety?

What if "guns" are not the most important issue in school safety? The District did not learn that, because it did not ask in the survey!

OIG's website not quite ready

The Office of the S.C. Inspector General is hard at work to update its online complaint form to accept complaints about the Richland 2 School District (and Board). Please have patience; they are working on it.

Get your complaints ready. You might draft them in Word and then copy and paste them into the online complaint form at oig.sc.gov

If you are really in a hurry to submit them, you can mail them to the address on the website.

If you wish to email your complaints, send them to oig@oig.sc.gov

I intend to separate my complaints by topic and to submit them as separate emails or webform submissions. This should make it easier for the office to place them in categories to be investigated.

When you submit your complaint by mail or email, be sure to indicate whether you waive confidentiality. The webform will ask you the question.

Me? I put my name on everything. "Anonymous" does not exist for me when I have something to say.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

How Will Richland 2 Respond?

Will Richland 2 lawyers be hard at work this morning to craft a worthy response to the Governor's directive to the Inspector General to investigate Richland 2?

I could save them a lot of time. Just say this:

"Richland 2 has no comment on the Governor's directive, except that the Board and the District have done nothing wrong."

Well, that settles it, then. The I.G. won't have a thing to do.

Will all the videos disappear from livestream.com/richland2 and YouTube? 

Will Richland 2's Media Release after the disruptions on January 25 magically vanish? Will WIS-TV lose the videos of Holmes and Manning and Pamela Davis from January 28, 2022?

Thank goodness for screen-captures and printers. The proof has been saved.

Who will be elected as Board President on June 28 (Tuesday)? That person will end up with the "fun" of trying to deny all the dysfunction that has taken place in the School Year just past.

S.C. Governor Orders Probe of Richland 2

YES! Yesterday, June 22, 2022, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster ordered the South Carolina Inspector General, Brian Lamkin, to initiate a probe into the affairs of Richland School District Two.

Thanks to the new law signed on June 17, 2022, which started as Senate Bill 202, Gov. McMaster didn't waste any time asking Inspector Lamkin to get started.

Will Mr. Lamkin have any difficulty finding mismanagement, misconduct or wrongdoing? Once you stop laughing over this question, make your list. Be specific. Cite examples. Refer to livestream.com/richland2 with the date of the board meeting and the counter/timer. 

Has there been organizational dysfuction by elected officials? 

Send your letters to Hon. Brian Lamkin, State Inspector General, 111 Executive Center Drive, Suite 204, Columbia, SC 29210. Or you can use the webform at www.oig.sc.gov (NOTE: the OIG webform has not yet been updated to accept school district complaints)

My complaints will include 1) failure of Teresa Holmes and Amelia McKie to take the oath-of-office after filing their Statements of Economic Interests and illegitimately usurping public office since November 13, 2018; 2) Teresa Holmes' filing a false police report against me with the Richland County Sheriff's Department on March 20, 2019; 3) Teresa Holmes' failing to call for an investigation of the disruptions in the board room on January 25, 2022; 4) failure of  RSD2 to investigate my complaint against Pamela Davis for her misconduct on January 25, 2022; 5) Teresa Holmes' failing to call for an investigation after the disruptions in the executive session on April 28, 2022. 

                                                                  (Click to enlarge)




Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Here Comes the Inspector General - hopefully

On June 17, 2022 Gov. Henry McMaster signed S.202 into law. What was this Bill?

S. 202, when signed, allows the Governor to go after Richland Two School District. He can direct the South Carolina Inspector General to investigate Richland 2.

You're familiar with all the chaos and antics of the past year. Things got so bad in the fall that the board decided to hire an outside consultant to help them. No doubt she tried. And failed. Within a matter of days things got worse. And then worse after that.

January 25, 2022 Before the board meeting started, I attempted to introduce myself to a black woman I did not know and had never seen before. As soon as I said, "Hello, I'm Gus Philpott", she shouted, "I KNOW WHO YOU ARE! DON'T TALK TO ME! GET AWAY FROM ME!" Two Richland 2 security officers came over and within minutes I was on my way out of the building - banned until June 30, 2022 at 11:59PM.

Then she turned on a 14-year-old student and cussed him out. The student told me what she said. A white man intervened on the young man's behalf, and then Baron Davis came barreling over and had to be restrained. The white man was the second man kicked out of the meeting. He said he was told by the Director of Safety & Security that Davis said to put him on No-Trespass Notice.

Who was that woman? Pamela Davis, wife of Supt. Baron Davis and teacher at Blythewood High School.

I filed a complaint against her with the Blythewood H.S. Principal, and I have never heard one word from the District. Where did they bury my complaint? Probably in the same place where they have bury most of my complaints.

There has been more chaos, disorder, upsets, antics. 

Hopefully, the South Carolina Inspector General will swoop in and clean house. One person in the spotlight, who should not be cleaned out, is Lashonda McFadden. She made a mistake, for which she has apologized, but she was teased and taunted. McFadden has endured disrespect from Teresa Holmes since almost the beginning of her term in November 2020. Listen to the remarks of the fifth speaker in Public Participation on May 25, 2022. This speaker nailed what has been going on with The Core Four on this year's school board.

Listen to her remarks on livestream.com/richland2 beginning at 1:25:00

I wish I had been present that night. I would have been on my feet, applauding her remarks.

Why Does Teresa Holmes lie?

                                                                    (Click to enlarge)
 

This post appeared last week on the private Facebook group of "DrTeresa Holmes". My thanks to one of her friends who emailed it to me.

Why would Teresa Holmes, sitting as Chair of the Richland 2 School Board, post this? In case you can't read it, under her name it reads

"This man is asking people to follow board members. He also previously asked people to sit outside of James Manning's home to take pictures, knowing he has a young daughter at home..."

The truth? I have never asked people to follow board members.

The truth? I have never asked people to sit outside of James Manning's home to take pictures.

Since I never asked people to follow board members or to sit outside James Manning's home to take pictures, is Holmes' post actually libelous and defamatory? I feel like she is accusing me of stalking board members and endangering a child.

Is this conduct unbecoming a board member and board officer? 

Perhaps Teresa thought I wouldn't see that post, because she has blocked me from her private group. 

Should I trot right down to Richland County Sheriff's Department and file a complaint against her for Harassment? If I do, my report will not be full of lies, as was hers against me on March 20, 2019.

Who, me? Confused?


Is there any confusion about the reason that kids are confused? Who am I? What am I? Am I really a (fill-in-the-blank)?

Is it true that, at Disney, greeters no longer can call out "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls..."?

What do they say? "Y'all standin' there, listen up."

If Richland 2 would add two more rows of symbols to that chart, it would make a Bingo card. Then it might at least be worth something.

Richland 2 ought to be teaching Reading, Writing and Arithmatic. Checkbook balancing. Budgeting. Wise Use of Credit. Spelling. Reading and writing comprehension. Grammar (he/she/it). How to prepare for a job in the real world. True history. 

And, most importantly, how to think for yourself.

Monday, June 20, 2022

McKie and the S.C. Ethics Commission

There was a hearing scheduled for last Thursday, June 16, for Amelia McKie at the office of the South Carolina Ethics Commission. The Commission charged her with failing to report her 2020 Richland 2 income on her 2021 Statement of Economic Interests Report (SEI). She was to appear on Thursday at 9:30AM.

On Wednesday afternoon McKie notified the Ethics Commission that she would not appear because she had COVID-like symptoms. 

What the Commission should have done is told her to log into their livestream service and appear virtually. What they did was grant a one-time continuance. Her hearing has been re-scheduled to October  20, 2022 at 9:30AM. OCTOBER 20. Four months from now. (And 2½ weeks before Election Day.)

So, how sick was she? Did she notify everyone who was at the Committee of the Whole meeting and the Board Meeting on June 14 that she might have COVID? Did she notify everyone who attended Mia McLeod's not-victory celebration on June 14? Did she quarantine and skip all the Juneteeth celebrations over the week-end?

Or did her "symptoms" miraculously disappear and turn out just to be a common cold or nothing at all?

McKie owes $57,100 to the Ethics Commission.

If the legislature does its duty and passes a pending bill that will prevent McKie from filing for re-election, McKie won't be able to run for re-election. If I were to guess at the chances for that bill to pass, I'd say "About 0.00001%." Why? Because it would keep S.C. Representatives and S.C. Senators from running for re-election, if they owe money to their respective Ethics Commissions.

The S.C. Ethics Commission does not report ethics fines/debts of S.C. Representatives and S.C. Senators. How likely is it that they will vote against their own interests?

Friday, June 17, 2022

Holmes lights a fire under son, friends

Richland 2 Board Chair Teresa Holmes lit a fire under her son and friends by taking one of my Facebook posts out of context and posting it on her private DrTeresa Holmes Facebook page., 

The post from my personal FB page read, "I've been wanting an AK-47 for some time now. Maybe I should brush up my Russian and buy a ticket to Ukraine. I wonder how much Richland 2 would chip in, if I promised not to come back."

The context was the war in Ukraine. I was a Russian major in college and am a former deputy sheriff, a veteran, and a person who gets involved. I was investigating how to get to Ukraine to help drive out the Russians. 

By taking my post out of context and putting it on her page, she riled up a bunch of her followers.

Chris Leevy Johnson thought I ought to be reported to Sheriff Lott. (Remember Chris' FB comment after James Shadd became Board Chair? Chris called Lindsay Agostini a "Karen" for not voting for Shadd.)

Teresa's son, Jai Austin, posted this rant on Facebook:

"Attention Columbia SC
I have stood silent long enough watching all this shit and I don’t even live there anymore..
1. When will these racist in Columbia realize you don’t run us..
2. When will racist in Columbia stop making up blatant lies and stories just to downgraded the fact the African Americans run the community and are on top of their game making sure that these kids have a healthy, happy, productive education.
3. To the dumb bitch who took a photo of what was supposed to be my moms cars but wasn’t..baby you’re just dumb ��.
4. To Gus Philpot the White supremicist version of Mr. Rogers, you can take your ass to Alaska with Sarah Palen and them and enjoy all your guns. But to say something like that when you show true hate towards the black community is disgusting.
5. To a nameless nobody who likes to threaten my mother In meetings and continuously have a agenda for my mother…All I will say to that is, was the first orange suit not enough baby?

I kept my mouth shut cause I’m not the one, call these racist out and put them on blast. Call out these these crazy ass people who pretend to care about your kids education but don’t and put them on BLAST.. Thats all I have to say ❤️ "

Do you suppose Teresa is proud of her son's literary prowess? His command of the English language? His ability to express himself clearly?

Where'd he go to high school? A Richland 2 high school? Is he, like his mother, a "product" of the Richland 2 School District?

Time's Almost Up, Teresa

The 2021-2022 School Year ends on June 30, which means new officers of the board for the next school year. In fact, board-officers terms for this year run out on Tuesday, June 28, when next year's officers are elected.

For the past year two women have been on the board who are NOT legitimate board members and were not eligible to serve as officers. Each was elected in 2021 to serve as an Officer of the Board. Teresa Holmes was elected Board Chair, and Amelia McKie (recordholder of highest-ever Ethics fines of a Richland 2 school board member) was elected Board Secretary. They should not have been nominated (thanks, James Manning and Dr. Cheryl. Caution. Parker., respectively). They were elected by The Core Four - no surprise there.

What's important?

I have been addressing their illegitimacy since February 2019, when I first spoke to the School Board on that issue.

Both violated S.C. Code of Laws Section 8-13-1110(A).

ARTICLE 11
Disclosure of Economic Interests
SECTION 8-13-1110. Persons required to file statement of economic interests.
(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.

The School District and the Board have never explained to the public or to me why they are not violating this law.

Both have been usupring public office since November 13, 2018.

Neither should be elected as a board officer on June 28, 2022. 

Show up at the June 28, 2022 and speak at Public Participation. Request the board to honor the law and to nominate and elect only fully-qualified board members as officers. That will eliminate Holmes and McKie from consideration. An additional reason not to nominate McKie is her $57,100 debt to the South Carolina Ethics Commission.and the judgment against her in Richland County Common Pleas Court for that debt.

"DrTeresa Holmes" rants on Facebook

This week you will not want to miss the rants by "DrTeresa Holmes" on Facebook. She refers to herself as "YOUR SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER ON THE MOVE". To find her, be sure to omit the space between Dr and Teresa.

If you don't find that page, you're blocked. I will address that in the near future.

Her crosshairs swept past me, but I accept her for who she is. Teresa displays her "real" self at many school board meetings, when she taunts, teases, disrespects, interrupts, cuts off, over-rides other board members and speaks (knowingly in her own mind) as if she is queen of the roost, when in fact, it is obvious that she knows not of which she speaks.

Look for her post, "IMPORTANT POST: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH". See her examples of "HATE /LIES /THREATS"

Keep in mind that is the woman who left work one day in early 2019, after reading an email I sent to the entire board, and ran straight to the sheriff's department to file a report that I was harassing her. When I read the report, I pointed out to the officer and the deputy in the Criminal Investigations Division that her report to the deputy was full of false statements. .She should have been charged with filing a false police report.

So there is a very good example of HATE /LIES /THREATS against me. Interesting that she did not mention that in her rant.

Teresa refers to her "dignified silence". When has she ever been dignified or silent? Does anyone have an example? I can think of one - silent, but not dignified. That was when she, as Board Chair, allowed Craig Khanwell/Conwell a full three minutes to threaten white people and me at the February 8, 2022 school board meeting. Later I saw a "friendly" photo of Teresa and Craig. Why would she allow a Louis Farrakhan follower to threaten white people, or anyone, at a school board meeting? And then she thanked him for speaking.

Is that Teresa's style of dignity?

Teresa claims to have been threatened. Is that why a deputy was posted along the wall at the June 14, 2022 school board meeting? Me? I don't believe she has been threatened.

But I know I was threatened on February 8, 2022, and she did nothing to stop Conwell (that's his name in the Richland County Fifth Judicial District Public Index). And so were white people in the school board audience that night. If Teresa wants to talk about racism anytime, let's do it. In public. At a school board meeting. Recorded.

Pitiful. Be glad her term as Board Chair is over on June 28, 2022. 

Why has she never even taken the oath-of-office legally and become a legitimate member of the school board? Look what she turned a simple oversight into. Four years of chaos. She may have been ignorant of the law in November 2018, when she failed to file her Statement of Economic Interests with the S.C.Ethics Commission and when an oath-of-office was improperly administered to her on November 18, 2018. 

She could have been honorable, admitted her mistake (instead of blaming it on "Nobody told me"), and taken the oath then. But she wasn't and she didn't. 

Now, she is playing the victim role. Sorry, Teresa. No pass.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

McKie - COVID? Ethics hearing off

If you see Amelia McKie out and about today thru some days following, please take a photo and send it to me. Her hearing at the Ethics Commission was scheduled for today (June 16) at 9:30AM. Late yesterday she reported COVID-like symptoms and the Commission granted her a one-time continuance. She was perfectly fine on Tuesday at the Committee meeting, Board meeting, and Mia McLeod's watch party. Does she have COVID?

How many could have been exposed at the Committee and Board meetings? Has she informed any of the exposure?

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Committee Meeting WAS recorded

 Surprise, surprise.

The livestream.com/richland2 homepage now shows a recorded meeting of the June 14, 2022 Committee of the Whole on Safety & Security. That meeting, which shows a recorded length of 1:52:44, was announced without a Livestream notice. See the June 14th "livestream" here. The audio seems to begin at 08:14, and the video camera was added at 08:27.

What's the real meaning of this? Viewers could not watch the meeting as it happened and then show up at the board meeting at 6:30PM and ask questions. Sneaky, eh? The Committee Chair, Trustee Monica Scott, had requested that the meeting be livestreamed. It was not. It was recorded, and it is the recording that now makes its way to the livestreeam platform.

Present: Scott, Agostini, Caution-Parker, Holmes, Davis, Manning (late)

Absent: Caution-Parker, McFadden

First up was the recent school survey. (11:22) The staffer said there were four questions. The first two were demographics (What school? What level (grade) was the student at?). The next two questions were, as the speaker said, the "meat of the survey". THEY DO A SURVEY AND ASK ONLY TWO SIGNIFICANT QUESTIONS?

Q. 3 was to rate their level of support on a list of safety measures. There were four choices.

Q. 4 was a list of safety concerns. Notably absent from the list was "Student bringing a gun to school". The assumption by the District was that bringing a gun to school is a major safety concern. What if it is not?

Mrs. Agostini asked the staffer if the survey had asked about race or gender. Staffer: No. Well, they missed a HUGE factor!!! Who designed the survey? Did the Committee have input on the questions or form of the survey? The staffer kept referring to "our" list. To me, that meant the staff's list, not the committee's list.

The Committee seems to sit in their "regular" board seating arrangement, with the superintendent holding the corner position, which Robert's Rules of Order designates for the Chair of a committee or board. Move him to the outside or maybe not even at the head table!

At this point Holmes spoke up for the first time. It was not her place to thank the staff for the survey (that's the role of the Chair). As she continued, her phone rang. HOLMES' PHONE RANG? Inexcusable!  She continued to hold her phone and even scrolled and began typing! Then she trashed the survey.The rest of her comments were completely unnecessary. 

This is what happened up to the 27:00 marker for the meeting.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Chaos Again! RONR - out the window!!!


Did you hear that big, ol', black steam engine roar through the boardroom tonight?

There are new Rules of Order for the Richland 2 school board. They aren't available in print yet, but the title will be Holmes' Rules of Order. Basically, they will be, "I'm Holmes, and I rule this joint."

Business fell apart during the portion of meeting devoted to student appeals. 

When Student #5's fate was to be determined, Manning made a Motion to deny the in-person appeal. 

Listen to this portion of the meeting. Go to livestream.com/richland2 and fast-forward to 1:24:15 for the start of the discussion about Student #5.

Trustees Agostini and Scott spoke in favor of hearing from the student in person. While just about every sane person would agree that a person ought to have the right to confront his accusers, that isn't the way the (majority of the) Richland 2 school board works. Trustee Scott stated that the board is the "stewards of the people" and that everyone deserves the oppotunity to be heard.

[I'll bet that includes Gary Ginn and me. We both requested in-person hearings on our No-Trespass Orders and were denied them.]

McKie went on record that the board should not hear an appeal due to the severity of the case. (Was this one of the guns-at-school cases?)

The vote was called. 


I expected the vote to be 4-3. HOWEVER, the vote was 3-4, with Holmes voting with Agostini, Scott and McFadden. Therefore, Motions Fails.. Imagine that! Holmes voted AGAINST her buddies, and against the Motion to deny the appeal. How did that happen?

Then Trustee Scott made a Motion to hear the case of the parent/student (#5), and Agostini seconded. Manning said there are certain cases that are so severe (that there was no point in granting a hearing). In other words, Guilty; no chance to prove innocence. (My words). Scott said everybody should have the chance to be heard. McFadden said the board should hear the "whole, entire story".

Holmes announced she was going to take a "point of privilege", which was unnecessary to state, because it was her turn to speak. She said there is a "legal law" (whatever that is) that has to happen. 

Holmes said, "I am open to hearing cases if we have leeway." RIGHT THERE IS A LIE. The board had leeway with Gary Ginn's grievance and with my grievance. Did we get hearings? NO.

So, Holmes' position seems to be, if a person is charged with Murder, he should be convicted. No need to have a trial.

At this point (1:30:48) Trustee Agostini asked Miss Lewis (Christine Lewis, the board's secretary and the recording secretary for the school board meeting) to read back the vote, saying that Holmes had voted AGAINST denying the in-person hearing; i.e., if not AGAINST it, then she was FOR it (the in-person hearing).

Holmes woke up and realized that she had voted the wrong way. Said she, "I must have hit the wrong button." Yes, indeed she had. And her vote was cast and announced by the recording secretary, by displaying it to the public. Holmes pointed her finger at Christine Lewis and said, "You cann change my vote."

No, the secretary CANNOT change Holmes' vote!!! Robert's Rules of Order is very clear about this at Section 4:42: "... a member has the right to change his vote up to the time the result is announced. After that, he can make the change only by unanimous permission of the assembly."

Well, you can't just do that. Holmes did that a few months ago. Unfortunately, the trustees are not highly educated about the finer points of Robert's Rules of Order, but at least this time they stopped her.

Manning bailed Holmes out with some "clarity" about fixing the problem without changing her vote.

Now what?

Teresa tried to excuse her mistake, but she said a second time that she pushed the wrong button. NO, SHE DID NOT PUSH THE WRONG BUTTON. She cast a "No" vote. CARELESSLY, because - well, you fill in the blank here.

The Motion was to hear the in-person hearing. (Whew! Some wording!!!) The vote was 3-4, as expected. The Core Four stuck together - again. 

Then Manning made a Motion to deny the in-person hearing for Student #5.

BUT WAIT. They have already voted on that. See above. The vote was 3-4 - Motion Fails. So they have already voted on this Motion.

I believe there is something in RONR that you can't vote a second time on the same motion.

Earlier Holmes had made a comment about certain trustees' "playing", and Agostini expressed that she was troubled by such a comment.

Holmes again mentioned "the law", and Trustee Scott explained the correct wording that applies here. 

What they are calling "the law" is Board Policy, and Trustee Scott said the superintendent or the Board can make a different decision and over-ride the wording in Policy. Board Policy is not "law".

Listen to Holmes' rudely cut off Trustee Scott and allow Caution-Parker to speak. 

Watch Caution-Parker. She began speaking and pointing her finger at Trustee Scott, but she had failed to turn on her microphone and her words cannot be heard. Caution-Parker must have asked Trustee Scott a question while her microphone was off. When Trustee Scott said she was not going to answer that question, listen to Caution-Parker's nasty, condescending remark to Trustee Scott, "Of course you are not going to answer, because you know you are wrong."

Caution-Parker deserved a time-out or to be removed from the board for violating rules of decorum and civility.

McKie said she wasn't sure "what four people" were being referred to. Of course, she is sure. "The Four" are Holmes, McKie, Caution-Parker and Manning. She apparently has no clue as to how foolish she sounds, when she says "I'm not sure..."

Trustee McFadden was trying to be heard. Trustee Agostini called for the vote. At this point the person who made the Motion should have been asked to re-state it. The motion by Manning was to deny the in person hearing for student five. The vote was 4-3; Pass. Holmes found the right button (for her) this time.

That took unti 1:38:55.

6/14/22 Board Meeting 5:30PM/ Sound off?

Where was the sound when the Richland 2 school board meeting was called to order?

It looked to me like Teresa forgot to turn on her microphone. Did anyone else see the red light on her microphone that indicates it is on?

There was no chaos when the meeting was called to order but the public, as well as all board members, are entitled to hear everything said during the meeting.

Monday, June 13, 2022

This Is a GREAT Message


This is a great talk by Carol Swain.

EVERY black student needs to sit down and watch this - and study it. 

She was spared from "life-sapping, negative messages about America that are crippling a generation of young people."

She describes as "poison" such messages as "white supremacy, whiteness as a form of property, unconscious racism, reparations, micro-aggressions, police have it out for blacks, that the United States was created to create and protect slavery".

Sound familiar?

Maybe ALL kids need to watch this video, but many of Richland County's blacks definitely need to.


Open Letter to Governor and Attorney General

The following email has been sent to Gov. Henry McMaster and S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson. If you agree, will you please send your own letter to them this week?
Gov. Henry McMaster: governormcmaster@governor.sc.gov
AG Alan Wilson: agwilson@scag.gov


GovMcMaster and Attorney General Wilson,

On June 28, 2022 the Richand 2 School Board will elect its officers for the 2022-2023 School Year.

I ask writing to ask you to intervene and to urge or demand that the Board members nominate and elect only fully-qualified, legitimate board members as officers for the coming year.

Two women on the board are not legitimate board members, and each serves as an officer in the 2021-2022 School Year. I have addressed the school board numerous times about this issue since February 2019; it has never taken corrective action.

Teresa Holmes and Amelia McKie were elected on November 6, 2018.
The election was certified on November 9, 2018.
They took office on November 13, 2018 (three days before the start of their terms). An oath-of-office was administered to each, and they were seated. They attended executive session that night and voted on board Motions.

The problem is that neither had filed her Statement of Economic Interests (SEI) with the S.C. Ethics Commission. Neither was eligible to take the oath on November 13, 2018.

On December 4, 2018 each filed her SEI and first became eligible to take the oath of office.

Neither has taken the oath of office on or since December 4, 2018. Therefore, each is an illegitimate member of the Richland 2 school board. This is Fact.

I approached Sheriff Lott and Attorney General Wilson's office in 2019 about Holmes' and McKie's usurping public office.

On June 29, 2021 I implored the Board during Public Participation to nominate and elect only fully-qualified board members as officers. Later in the meeting when it was time for board elections, Trustee James Manning immediately nominated Teresa Holmes as Chair. Trustee Caution-Parker nominated Amelia McKie as Secretary.

Amelia McKie owes $57,100 in debt to the S.C. Ethics Commission and is subject of a Judgment in Richland County Common Pleas Court. That should eliminate her from consideration as an officer of the Board. 

Will you please take such action as you can to prevent their holding Board office in 2022-2023?

Thank you in advance for any action you will take.

Sincerely,

Gus Philpott
www.Richland2.info
847.971.7083

What if no Holmes and no McKie?

What would the Richland 2 school board look like if

Holmes could not vote, be on the board or chair it?

McKie could not vore, be on the board of be Secretary?

The Core Four who rule the roost are Holmes, McKie, Manning, and Caution-Parker..

The Three who get out-voted on every significant issue are Agostini, Scott and McFadden.

What if Holmes and McKie were finally determined to be ineligible board members? What would the teams look like.

Legal board members: Manning, Caution-Parker (2)

Legal board members: Agostini, Scott and McFadden (3)

The board would have voted to investigate what happened on January 25, 2022.

The board would have voted to investigate what happened on April 28, 2022.

The board would have sanctioned Supt. Davis for approving excess spending by trustees on travel and training.

And many other actions of the board and district would have become transparent.

How would their replacements be selected? Would there be a Special Election? Would the seats remain empty, if their eviction occurred within a certain number of days of the November 9, 2022 election?

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Do Not Remain Silent


Take six minutes right now and watch this 5/3/2022 senior speech by Harvard University student Julie Hartman.

Watch it as a family.

Board Meeting - June 14, 2022

The next school board meeting will be this Tuesday, June 14, 2022. 5:30PM at R2i2.

Be sure to sign up to speak before the 6:15PM deadline. And do show up and speak. 

The Board must be evaluating the superintendent now. Express your opinion on his performance.

Are you unhappy about his trip to Australia? Ask how much that will cost Richland 2 and if he is going on his own time.

Are you happy about the state of security in Richland 2? Disappointed at the number of guns being found in schools?

Ask how many teachers have not renewed their contracts and what the District is doing to find out why they are leaving.

Ask why he didn't insist that the Board investigate what transpired on January 25, 2022 just before the board convened.

Ask why the Media Relations Dept. put out the statement that it did. And why it did not comment on the April 26 Executive Session.

Ask why the superintendent did not inform ALL board members of Sheriff Lott's press conference on May 26. Richland County Sheriff's Dept. told me that Notice of the meeting was provided to school superintendents. Holmes, McKie and Manning knew about it. Agostini, Scott and McFadden did not know about it. 

Remember the line in Cool Hand Luke? "What we've got here is a failure to communicate."

What evaluation will the board give the superintendent this year?

And express your opinions about the board officer election to take place on June 28, 2022. Should only fully-qualified board members be nominated and elected? Remember: Holmes and McKie are not legitimate board members and are not eligible to be officers. Neither has ever taken the oath-of-office legally.

Committee of the Whole meeting: 6/14/22 3:30PM

The Committee of the Whole on Safety & Security is scheduled to meet at 3:30PM on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 (election day) at R2i2. The meeting is open to the public, and no executive session is scheduled. For some reason it is announced as a "Special Meeting" (whatever that means).

The chairperson of the Committee is School Board Trustee Monica Scott. 

It is my understanding that she requested that the meeting be livestreamed. Nothing about livestream is included in the announcement. 

Who denied her request? The superintendent? The board chair? So much for wanting to include the public!

Take a look at the bland agenda.

2.1 Safety and Security
2.2 Safety Survey Results
2.3 Presenters

I've seen many meeting agendas over the years. This gets the prize for insufficient and incomplete information.

I, of course, would like to attend. Back on February 27, 2018, just two weeks after the shootings in Parkland, Florida, I requested a survey of parents, teachers and staff on the topic of arming teachers . I also suggested a parent and community members' advisory committee on school safety.

Perhaps I shouldn't assume that a request to attend Tuesday's meeting will be denied. It seems reasonable to me for permission to attend this important meeting could be granted. (My sentence to "Richland 2 Jail" is up on June 30, 2022 at 11:59PM.) I'll submit it right now.

To view and hear my remarks on February 27, 2018, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiJD_czDeh8 and fast-forward to 30:08. 

Saturday, June 11, 2022

McKie Still Owes $57,100

 Why isn't Amelia McKie making any payments on her debt to the South Carolina Ethics Commission?

The Commission advised yesterday that she still owes $57,100!

Is she unwilling to pay or unable to pay? There is a difference. She seems to have money to dress as she does for Richland 2 school board meetings. 

McKie was first elected to the Richland 2 school board in November 2014, and she was re-elected to the board in November 2018. She served as Board Chair in 2018-2019 and as Board Secretary in the current year, 2021-2022.

Am I the only person in Richland County who thinks she ought to be making substantial payments on that debt, in order to eliminate it? It appears that she is not only not making substantial payments; she doesn't seem to be making any payments toward it. Every two-three months the Ethics Commission confirms that she owes the same amount.

McKie has a hearing next week at the Ethics Commission for her most recent violation of ethics laws. On her 2021 Statement of Economic Interests Report she did not report her 2020 income from the Richland 2 school district. She had reported it in previous years. Was the error carelessness? Inattentive? Something else?

Her hearing is Thursday, June 16, 2022 at 9:30AM at the offices of the Ethics Commission, 201 Executive Center Drive, First Floor. The hearing is open to the public. If you are planning to attend, you might call the Commission the day before to confirm that it will still be held. Phone: 803.253.4192

As Secretary of the Board, her job isn't just to sit there and make Motions to go into Executive Session. Or ramble on and on with unnecessary thoughts or lengthy introductions of Inspirational Moments at board meetings (which aren't inspirational).

As Secretary, she ought to be familiar with board policies and certain laws, and she ought to be saying, "Whoa! We have a problem here!" Of course, she is part of the problem - she is not even a legal board member.

There is legislation pending that, when approved, will prevent a candidate for public office from filing, if s/he owes money to the Ethics Commission. If that passes in time, McKie won't be able to file for re-election, and one of The Core Four will bite the dust.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Millage Increase Denied

The pitch by Richland 2 school district for a milllage increase to the cap was denied by Richland County Council on Tuesday, June 7, 2022.

Remember that four trustees vote FOR it - Holmes, McKie, Manning, Caution-Parker.

Remember that three trustees voted AGAINST it - Agostini, Scott and McFadden.

And a lot of taxpayers spoke up and asked the County Council to deny it. Which the Council did.

Here's the response I received when I inquired today:

"No, County Council did not grant Richland 2's request for a millage increase. Like all of our millage agencies, they received a no mill increase. A no mill increase simply says if the value of the mill increases and additional revenue is generated therefrom, said agencies may receive those funds later in the fiscal year. Further, a no mill increase does not raise taxes at all."

Be sure to thank the Richland Councll Council.

Board Officers for 2022-2023

Should only fully-qualified members of the school board serve as Officers?

Board Officers will be elected at the second regular meeting in June, which will be June 28. 

The fully-qualified board members eligible for nomination are Agostini, Scott, McFadden, Manning, and Caution-Parker.

"So-called" board members not eligible for nomination are Holmes and McKie.

Why not?

Holmes and McKie have never taken the oath-of-office legally. After their election on November 6, 2018, they did take an oath on November 13. However, that was a full three weeks before they first became eligible to take it.

Holmes and McKie became eligible to take the oath-of-office legally on December 4, 2018, when they filed their Statement of Economic Interests Reports with the S.C. Ethics Commission. Neither has ever legally taken the oath-of-office.

At the June 29, 2021, I asked the board during Public Participation to nominate and elect only fully-qualified board members.

What happened?

As soon as nominations opened later n the meeting, Manning immediately nominated Holmes. The Core Four elected her.

Look what the District got. Chaos. Disrespect. Cat fights. 

If you believe that Holmes and McKie should not be nominated as officers for the next school year, email and call board members now.

This year will be especially interesting, because the November 2022 election is very likely to upset the board. If an officer is not re-elected, then the board will have to choose a new officer in November. This year the school board could end up with 2-3-4 new members.

Here's a section of law that the school board has not followed: S.C. Code of Laws Section 59-19-70. This board is really good about not following State laws.

SECTION 59-19-70. Chairman and clerk of board.

The trustees shall, as soon as practicable after the appointment of any new trustee, organize by the election of one of their members as chairman and another as clerk of the board. The chairman shall preside at meetings of the board and perform other duties imposed on him under the law, and the clerk shall keep a record of the proceedings of all meetings in a book provided for that purpose and perform all other duties required of him by law.

After Lashonda McFadden joined the board in November 2020, shouldn't there have been an election of the Chair and the Secretary (clerk)?

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Supt. to Australia - confirmed


Yes, taxpayers, it's true. Baron Davis is planning a junket to Melbourne, Australia, and it looks like a second Richland 2 employee, Shawn Suber, will go on the trip, too.

Richland 2 Media Dept. issued a press release today.  You can read it on the Richland 2 website at www.richland2.org

The press release states that "CGE covers travel and accommodation expenses for participants." Are Davis and Shawn Suber incurring any expenses to be paid by Richland 2? Are they going on their own time?

When did the Board of Trustees consider Davis' request for international travel and representing the District on foreign soil?

Did the Board consider whether travel to and attending a conference on SEL and "equitable systems" at this time is proper? The District is facing a lot of heat on the CRT front and the SEL/WEL issues. And replacing equality with equity.

Digital Promise League is the organization that came to taxpayer's attention in 2020, when Davis was headed there after COVID-19 broke out. That travel was covered here at here. If I remember correctly, he ended up not going to Compton, Calif., where he was to be a speaker.

In my opinion, Richland 2 could use less of innovation and more of practical. Let's prepare students to deal with reality, not progressive ideas and programs that make them victims in the future.

Here's the June 7th press release:

Richland Two is one of 10 school districts in the United States selected to participate in the Innovation Study Tour and Working Group on Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Learning Differences. 

The Center for Global Education (CGE) at Asia Society and Digital Promise launched the innovation study tours in 2019 to give school districts the opportunity to explore different perspectives outside of their typical environments. Participants collaborate through webinars and culminating study tours.

“Being selected to participate in the first and second Innovation Study Tours is quite an honor for our school district,” said Richland Two Superintendent Dr. Baron R. Davis. “Dr. Helen Grant, our Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, and I gained a deeper understanding of the policies, systems, data and professional development needed to create more equitable school systems in the first study tour to Toronto, Ontario.”

Since 2021, Dr. Davis and Dr. Shawn Suber have represented Richland Two in an online study of the innovative system-wide SEL and Learning Difference strategies implemented by Surrey Schools in British Columbia. Dr. Davis and Dr. Suber, who is the district’s director of multi-tiered systems of support/state and federal programs, will travel to Melbourne, Australia, for an innovation study tour that brings together the work of both studies — equitable systems and SEL/learning differences.

According to Digital Promise and the CGE, “the ultimate aim of this work is to promote greater equity and to ensure all students are well prepared for college, careers and informed, active citizenship in a global era.” CGE covers travel and accommodation expenses for participants.

How Many Teachers are Leaving Richland 2?

How many teachers are leaving Richland 2? 

How many left during the 2021-2022 School Year? How many did not sign contracts that were offered for the 2022-2023 School Year? How many were not offered contracts for the coming year?

What is the make-up of those who have left and those who are leaving?

Administration should provide an exhaustive report to the Board, documenting age, gender, race, employment position, number of years with Richland 2, last school assignment.

The general breakdown should include reporting per-school. Are some schools incurring high turnover? Why?

WHY are they leaving? What are the reasons?

It is my understanding that Richland 2 does not conduct Exit Interviews.

Exit Interviews must be conducted so there are no repercussions, retribution, retaliation against the departing teacher. They must be conducted by an outside, independent, experienced consulting firm that can guarantee anonymity to the respondent. 

Teachers don't want their future employment prospects killed by a poor recommendation. Now it the teacher was a slouch and merits a poor recommendation, it should be given.

If a teacher is leaving over valid concerns for safety, a terrible work environment, unreasonable expectations, an unreasonably-biased supervisor, refusal to support CRT, Administration and the Board need to know.

Teachers, if you want me to publish your reasons for leaving, write it up and email it to gusphilpott@gmail.com  If you wish, write it in such a way that obscures your identity. I shall NOT reveal your name or email address. Guaranteed!

Can you trust my guarantee? I wrote a blog in Illinois for seven years, and many cops and deputies gave me the dirt from theie departments. The sheriff there (McHenry County, Ill.) subpoenaed 27 months' worth of documents from me, including the names of any present or former employees of that sheriff's department. I knew immediately that I would not comply with the subpoena, and I filed a Motion to Quash the subpoena pro se. The Federal Magistrate granted my Motion!!!

Had he not, I was prepared to sit in jail on a Contempt charge, because I had promised confidentiality to the cops and deputies. 

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Can/Should Richland 2 Bully a Citizen?

Richland 2 School District rivals the Federal Government with Board Policies and Administrative Rules.

If you have insomnia some night, go to www.Richland2.org   At the top right corner, click on EXPLORE. Then click on School Board. Then click on BOARD POLICIES. 

In the left column, you see Sections A, B, C, D, E, F, G, I, J, K, L and ADDITONAL INFORMATION OF INTEREST.

What you won't see is Section H.

You'd think the Board would follow its Policies; right? And you'd think that Administration would follow Administrative Rules; right?

What happens when the Administration abuses an Administrative Rule? NOTHING!

Consider AR KI-R. That's Administrative Rule KI-R, which is found in Section KI Visitors. In particular, look at the section for "No Trespass" Notices.

Read the wording carefully. It reads, in part, 

"... (Security staff) assigned to work at a school or event may issue a verbal or written "no trespass" notice for the school facility ..."

It states "for the school facility". That's singular. That's for one (1) facility. Is there any interpretation of "the facility" that could mean "more than one" or "all"?

Now how does the School District bully a parent or community member?

The Trespass Notice issued by and signed by the Director of Safety & Security bans the alleged offending party from "ALL [sicRichland School District Two properties, facilities, campuses and buildings". This includes the Sandhills Library, which leases its space from Richland 2. 

Administrative staff refuse to discuss this abuse of AR KI-R with me. They refuse to explain why they believe they can ban me from ALL properties, not just R2i2.

I have filed a formal complaint with the Board Chair. She refuses to process it, as required in Board Policy KE. Recent emails go unanswered.

It appears my only recourse is to haul Richland 2 into court. 

The Trespass Notice expires on June 30, 2022 at 11:59PM. Should I spend money to fight Richland 2? On principle, I should. However, I would expect the District, in possession of millions of taxpayer dollars, to bury me in legal motions, in order to run up my legal expense which I, not they, pay. They would spend your money to defend a position that cannot be defended.

The Board Chair, the three other board members in the majority, the superintendent, and the director of safety & security blocked me from attending the February 22, 2022 board meeting, when my grievance was heard in executive session and voted on in open session. 

Should Richland 2 get away with bullying me and any other person to whom the Trespass Notice was improperly broadened to apply to ALL properties, not just "the" (one) building?

Saturday, June 4, 2022

NoeGenesis Group, LLC - where is it?

On  December 5, 2013 Baron Davis incorporated The NoeGenesis Group, LLC in South Carolina. As late as last fall, there was an internet presence, and it appeared to be Davis' private consulting practice.

Today, Google doesn't find it.

There were variations in spelling even on its business website. So was it NoeGenesis or NeoGenesis?

Noegenesis Group is listed on Davis' 2022 Statement of Economic Interests as filed with the S.C. Ethics Commission for 2021.

It's still on record with the S.C. Secretary of State.

But it seems to be gone from the internet. If you can find it, please let me know the URL. Thanks.

Supt. Davis - Australia-Bound?


Last week I started hearing rumors that Supt. Davis and his wife might be headed for Australia on the District's funds.

At a time when the District is crying "Poor me" to the Richland County Council, is this the right time for him to head "down under"?

And is another employee from the District Office to go along on that trip? And that employee's spouse?

If Davis wants to make a trip on vacation time and at no expense to Richland 2, who cares? I certainly don't. And I don't know anyone who does. 

Is he going through his personal business, The Noe Genesis Group? 

Is some organization in Australia popping for his expenses?

Is this trip a vacation or a resume-builder? 

Maybe he'll buy a one-way ticket. For that, I'd say, "Richland 2, pay for it."

Who can find out about this trip?

Do Holmes, Manning, McKie and Caution-Parker know about it?

Do Agostini, Scott and McFadden know about it?

Baron, how about an explanation?

Friday, June 3, 2022

Did Manning step in it?

After months of in-fighting about who can speak "for" the board, The State newspaper printed this on June 2, 2022:

“As a school board, we would have preferred to not have had to do that,” said board vice chair James Manning of asking for the increase. But he said it’s to ensure the district has a balanced budget for next year.


The Board voted 4-3 on May 31, 2022 to sock it to taxpayers at a time when other taxing jurisdictions are holding the line.

Who voted FOR the tax increase? Holmes, McKie, Manning, Caution-Parker.

Who voted AGANST the tax increase? Agostini, Scott, McFadden.

If The State is correct, Manning said, “As a school board, we would have preferred to not have had to do that.”fo

So why did they do it? 

What do you do, when you don't have enough income for all the things you want to do in the next 12 months?

Do you go to your employer and tell him that he must give you a raise?

Or do you cut back on your spending wishes and make them fit the budget you have?

The terms of office as board membes of Holmes, McKie, Manning and Caution-Parker all expire this November. Some (all?) will run for re-election. 

Show them how you feel about a tax increase. Show them the door marked EXIT.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Which is correct? 18.4 or 18.5

After the school board meeting on May 31, WLTX reported that Richland 2 had approved a millage rate of 18.5.

That's not correct. The Board voted to ask Richland County for 18.4.

The Voice newspaper reported 18.5 after checking with Libby Roof and one trustee. They apparently said that Manning "misspoke" when he made the motion for 18.4. No, he didn't misspeak. He asked for 18.4. It's clear as day.

[Edited 6/6/2022] Libby Roof did not tell The Voice that Trustee Manning misspoke.]

And the Minutes for the board meeting support that. Here's how the Minutes read:

I move that we approve an 18.4 mill increase for 22-23 school year budget.

Motion by James Manning, second by Amelia McKie.
Final Resolution: Motion Carries
Yes: Cheryl Caution-Parker, James Manning, Amelia McKie, Teresa Holmes
No: Lindsay Agostini, Monica E Scott, Lashonda McFadden

Click on the link and hear what Manning said. Go to livestream.com/richland2, select the May 31, 2022 meeting and fast-forward to 1:54:40.

If the District sent a request for 18.5 to County Council, the Council should dump it in the round file and consider that Richland 2 submitted no valid request. Richland 2 was already late. Did it err?

[Edited 6/6/2022] Richland 2 requested an 18.4 millage increase to the millage cap.]

People around Richland County know how I operate. Words count. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.

The School Board approved 18.4. If the District asked for more, then it doesn't get anything.

What's the truth here?

Next safety Committee Meeting

The next meeting of the Committee of the Whole on Safety & Security will be Tuesday, June 14, 2022 at 3:30PM. It will be held at R2i2, before the Board meets. A request has been made to livestream the meeting.

Does the Committee just meet, talk and go away? Or are assignments made for Committee members to actually do something before the next meeting?

Since you have to be there to know what is happening, who really knows? There seem to be no Minutes of the Committee meetings, and there apparently is no dedicated webpage on the District's website.

Having a meeting from 3:30-5:00PM likely means few parents, community members or business people will attend.

I won't be at that meeting, because Director of Safety & Security Marq Claxton denies my requests for permission to attend. 

The Trespass Notices that are issued by the District are a joke. 

The Notice reads, in part, "... access to any Richland School District Two property must be requested at least 24 hours in advance AND you MUST receive access authorization from the Director of Safety & Security or the Director's designee."

What the Notice fails to inform the recipient is that the Director will not authorize access in most cases.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Richland 2 bites taxpayers - Cat Fight!!!

Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z

If you can stomach it, watch some of last night's dog-and-pony show, called a Special-Called Board Meeting, on the proposed budget and millage increase (that's TAX INCREASE). 

After the staff was up-to-bat, the board began discussion at 1:35:40 on livestream.com/richland2 (for the May 31, 2022 meeting).

Trustee McFadden had clearly studied the audit and pointed out that in "every single department" of the Administration, there were funds left over. In other words, every department spent less than was budgeted.

Watch Amelia McKie pontificate as if she knows about budgeting. Maybe if she'd sit up straight and not prop herself on her elbow, she'd be able to speak briefly and on topic, without need to fill air-time with extra verbiage. This is the woman who owes $57,000 to the Ethics Commission (failing to file required reports on time) and who has a Hearing set for June 16 about why she failed to report her 2020 School Board income on her 2021 Statement of Economic Interests Report. What did she even say with her rambling comments???

Trustee Manning explained that "they" could give money back to the taxpayers, if the legislature came through with lots of money. Yeah, right! Remember when the board decided to give out bonuses (instead of refunding surplus to taxpayers)? 

I was treasurer of a small Denver networking group (unincorporated), and we created a surplus beyond our needs for the weekly meetings of 125-150 attendees. We charged $5 and made money on that. Some on the steering committee wanted to donate the extra money to a "win/win" small business. I objected and said we should give it back to those who showed up, and every once in a while I'd declare a Free Day, and we worked down the surplus that way. 

Manning could have limited his remarks to two minutes and should have avoided restating what he had already said. (That even came out of their "executive-coaching" trainings.)

Dr. Scott was recognized. WOW. Watch the camera on Supt. Davis at 1:46:00!!! Now there is an attentive, interested, respectful posture while a board member is speaking!!! She asked more than once how much money was left for "security" improvements. Dr. Miley didn't answer her question. Will Anderson stepped in and said almost all the money allocated for security had been spent. Bond money cannot be used for salaries (or for contracted SROs). Will Anderson said $5,000,000 is going into cameras.

Watch the CAT FIGHT that starts here.

Be sure to watch at 1:50:55 when Trustee Scott responds to Manning and made a reference to the "photo opp" at Sheriff Lott's recent press conference (that Scott, Agostini and McFadden did not know about). Manning then popped up without being recognized to object to Scott's comment as "completely unnecessary." [It would have been better if Trustee Scott had not mentioned the text that she had received during the meeting. A Board Policy specifically addresses electronic communications during board meetngs.]

Another Board Policy violation immediately occurred when Manning referred to Scott and addressed her directly. Manning used the term "character assassination." Apparently, Dr. Scott is still feeling the after-effects of not having been informed of last week's press conference with Sheriff Lott.

This board acts like an after-school girls' club. If there were a Parliamentarian, these actions would be curtailed. At least, until they fired the Parliamentarian!

Then Holmes tried to call the meeting back to order (1:52:00), but she continued to pontificate about why SHE is there (for the children and the stakeholders). All she should have done is call the meeting back to order!!! It was not Holmes' place to chastise Trustee Scott. Holmes said, "This is about children."

NO, it is not! It is about money and budget and spending and Business. That's the part that Holmes does not understand. The School Board is running a business. Holmes told Trustee Scott three times to "Stop it!" How's that for respect!

 Holmes said they are there to respect each other, and then she continued to disrespect Trustee Scott. Holmes doesn't even understand or listen to her own words! You think that Holmes was in a kindergarten class. And, if she were, I'd be filing a complaint and seeking to have her credentials pulled.

And then she returned the floor to Manning, who would be followed by Dr. Davis (for comment). Manning, instead, made a motion (1:54:40) to approve an 18.4-Mill increase. McKie seconded. McFadden then explained why she would not support a millage increase.

At that point, Holmes claimed the floor. According to Robert's Rules of Order (RONR) the chair is the last to speak. But Holmes doesn't recognize that, because she has not bothered to study RONR. Why didn't someone call a Point of Order?

Holmes continues to use a new word in the English language. Well, not "new". Wouldn't you think someone would coach her not to say "aks" (instead of "ask")? Hey, I know; it's a cultural thing. Well, it's a wrong cultural thing! 

Holmes challenged McFadden's analysis, and that was wrong. She should just state her own position and not run down the position of a fellow trustee, who is her equal on the board. McFadden tried to be recognized but Holmes said, "Ms. McFadden, I'm talkin'." Holmes had talked long enough.

Holmes provided herself with several sound bites that are quite likely to show up in her campaign for re-election. Her comments went on FAR TOO LONG, when other board members were likely waiting to comment during discussion on Manning's Motion. Why did Holmes MONOPOLIZE the discussion?

Trustee Agositini made an excellent comment on how the millage-increase WILL affect many Richland 2 families who are renters. The millage increase won't affect primary residences, but landlords will pass on the millage-increase to their tenants!

Then the supt. launched into a long-winded remark that had little to do with the vote on the motion that was standing.

WARNING: Do not ever ask the supt. what time it is. Twenty minutes later, you'll know how a sundial was invented, but you still will not know what time it is!

Why did Christine (the board's secretary and recording secretary for the board meeting) ask for a hand vote on Manning's motion??? 

The Core Four (Holmes, Manning, McKie, Caution-Parker) voted by hand to approve.

Trustees Agostini, Scott and McFadden voted against.

Two hours could have been saved last night. When the budget item was called, Manning could have made his motion. McKie could have seconded it. Caution-Parker could have called for the vote. The vote would have been the same: 4-3, and everyone could have gone home at 7:00PM.