Friday, February 25, 2022

Time-saver for Richland 2 Board

I have an idea for how the Richland 2 school board can save time at meetings.

Considerable time is wasted after a vote is called. I doubt anyone can explain how electronic voting can take so long to tabulate and display.

I suggest ordering a rubber stamp for the board chair, for use whenever a motion is made by Trustee Agostini, Scott or McFadden.

YES      NO

☒             AGOSTINI

       ☒      CAUTION-PARKER

       ☒      HOLMES

       ☒      MANNING

☒             MCFADDEN

       ☒      MCKIE

☒             SCOTT

Then she could call for the vote. Count to three. Ask, "Have all voted?" Count to three. 

Say, "The vote is three Yeas and four Nays. Motion fails. Next item?"

This rubber stamp will only be needed until November 2022.

"Tommy ... Tommy ... " WHAT?????

During the 2/22/2022 board meeting, the superintendent began to read what promised to be a lengthy item of Superintendent Highlights. 

Shortly after 2:11:18 on the recording, Holmes' voice can be heard interrupting the superintendent's comments. She says, "Tommy ... Tommy..."

Acting Chair Manning says, "Dr. Holmes, can you go on Mute unless you are intending to say something?"

Holmes replies, "Oh, I'm so sorry. I thought I was."

Manning: "That's okay. Thank you very much." Then Manning apologizes to the superintendent.

Which brings up the question - where was Teresa Holmes? Why wasn't she at the board meeting? 

Holmes get paid about $400 to attend each board meeting. Was she paid $400 for Tuesday night and whatever she was doing with Tommy? Why was Tommy even there? Wouldn't Holmes be sitting wherever she was and giving full attention to every word of the board meeting, especially what the superintendent was saying?

Earlier in the evening, one of the speakers in Public Participation asked for the resignation of the superintendent and the board chair.

What was the REAL reason that Holmes was not present at the 2/22/2022 board meeting? And who is Tommy?

Why Did Supt. Err in Explaining Bonuses?

Money, money, money to employees.

On February 22, 2022 why didn't the superintendent describe accurately (2:07:03) the recommendation to the school board by Administration for doling out surplus money to teachers and staff?

When I heard him describe "net after taxes", that got my attention. Employees are in different tax brackets, and a public entity should not award bonuses based on "net" to the employee. The proper bonus plan would be a fixed amount to full-time employees and a fixed amount to part-time employees.

The superintendent said "one time bonus of $1,000 net after taxes (that's what "net" means) to all full-time permanent employees and a one-time bonus of $500 net after taxes to all part-time employees."

That scheme would mean different gross bonuses to employees and would produce a lot of screaming over unfair pay.

The employees would have to receive different Gross amounts, based on their withholding declarations, if they are going to receive equal Net amounts.

Then I looked at the information in the document that was projected in the room. 

The document for the bonuses read, "We recommend investing in our employees by giving a one-time bonus of $1,580 to all full-time permanent employees and $789 to all part-time permanent employees (roughly $1,000 and $500 after taxes, respectively)."

The superintendent probably should have called on Dr. Harry Miley to explain it. Dr. Miley would not have made that mistake.

 The pay-out is by equality, not equity!!! But the superintendent wants the same outcome for all; right? That can't be done with money. At least, not legally.

Trustee-elect McKie repeated the error when she made the Motion. You can hear Holmes butt in on the phone with "Second", before McKie finished reading her motion. Trustee Scott seconded, and then Holmes butted in again to say "Second". 

So what will the District have to do? Will the District office have to manipulate the gross amount for each of several thousand full-time and part-time employees to produce a Net bonus amount of $1,000 and $500, respectively?

The motion by the board did not agree with the proposed spending plan. Who will fix that?

Grievance Vote 2/22/2022

(Click to enlarge)

At the 2/22/2022 board meeting a grievance submitted by Gus Philpott was on the agenda for both the executive session and the open session.

At Item 8.2 Trustee Agostini made a motion to postpone the grievance and grant a hearing to me.

Trustee Scott seconded the motion and also spoke in support of allowing the Grievant (me) to speak, saying it is fair. It is also the first time in her ten years on the board that a community member had filed a grievance.

What was the vote?

The Core Four, as expected, voted as a bloc. All four (the majority on the board) voted No.

Gee, why didn't the superintendent hop on the Equity train and speak about the importance of equity, diversity, and inclusion and tell the board that it would have only been fair to hear from me.

Manning revealed, improperly, that there had been 143 pages of documentation from people on both sides of the "equation". No, James; there was no "equation". There was an ISSUE.

Plus he had just heard one of the speakers in Public Participation say that no one had been closer to the two people involved (at first), Pamela Davis and Gus Philpott, and that NO ONE HAD CONTACTED HIM.

So much for fairness.

After Trustee Agostini's motion was defeated, trustee-elect McKie made a motion "to uphold the Administration's recommendation to deny the grievance." (2:05:10) Seconded loudly by Caution-Parker (of course). During discussion, Trustee Agostini referred to stories that were inconsistent that were told (in the documentation).

Then McKie hopped in, completely unnecessarily, to state that executive session items cannot be discussed on the floor. Funny how she didn't challenge Manning when he referred to the 143 pages of documentation.

Regarding McKie's Motion, just who in the "Administration" recommended to deny the grievance? The superintendent, who IS the Administration? He should not have had any voice in the matter, because his wife and he were right in the thick of the disruption on January 25.

The District should have appointed an independent hearing officer. But even that would not have changed the vote of the bloc. The Core Four would have stuck together, no matter how the motion was worded.

What are the white tablecloths for?

During the presentation to Trustee Monica Scott of her ten-year school board pin, I first noticed the white tables set up in front of the board seating area.

What in the world are those tables for???

At the next meeting will we see eight (8) armed sheriff's deputies stationed in front of the board tables?

I have an idea. How about 50 armed deputies facing the board and staff to protect the Parents from the school board?

Were those tables placed to create a barrier, just in case an angry mob of domestic terrorists (parents) decided to rush the front of the room and reclaim the Power of the People? Could an insurrection happen right here in Richland Two?

Are those tables there to keep the school board members or school officials from rushing the audience, when parents dare to speak out against mask mandates? Or attempt to defend a minor student from profanity uttered by an adult toward him?

Are those tables there to protect the audience? Or the school board? Is that supposed to be a subtle fist raised in the face of the public that the school board is not to be questioned?

Why are there white tablecloths on those long tables? Who came up with that dumb idea?

Will community member Craig Khanwell (Conwell?) be outraged at the symbol of White Supremacy Racist Theory, demonstrated by white tablecloths, and return to threaten, this time, board members instead of the audience? Will Khanwell demand that black tablecloths be used?

Manning Erred as Chair

Trustee Manning erred as Acting Board Chair at the 2/22/2022 meeting when he explained the meaning of Trustee Agostini's Motion to remove Item 8.2 (the grievance) from the Agenda near the beginning of the meeting.

Listen carefully to the recording of the 2/22/2022 board meeting on   At 1:25:20 Trustee Agostini moved to remove Item 8.2 from the Agenda. Seconded by Trustee Scott.

During discussion Trustee Agostini said she wanted to postpone the item until the Grievant could attend, at the next meeting. Trustee Manning erroneously stated that removing the item would mean they could not vote on having the Grievant at the next meeting. That was wrong. But the result was that Trustee Agostini withdrew her Motion.

The Motion was to remove Item 8.2. Period. That's what the vote would have been on. 

By postponing Item 8.2, Policy KE would require the grievance to be heard at the next regular board meeting or a special-called meeting. The issue of having the Grievant attend the meeting was not part of the Motion. It was part of the discussion.

Trustee Manning clouded the issue by mis-stating the Motion.

As acting Chair, it was incumbent on him to conduct the meeting in accordance with, as trustee-elect McKie unnecessarily stated that she learned at the SCSBA party last week-end, state law, board policy, and RONR.

I realize the result would have been the same, since The Core Four vote as a bloc. Trustees Agostini, Scott and McFadden would have voted in favor of removing Item 8.2. Trustees Manning and Caution-Parker and trustees-elect Holmes and McKie would have voted against. The vote would have been 3-4, Failed.