Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Signed into law by Gov. McMaster on April 25, 2022.
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 59-19-60, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE REMOVAL OF SCHOOL DISTRICT TRUSTEES AND FILLING OF TRUSTEE VACANCIES, SO AS TO PROVIDE THE GOVERNOR MAY REMOVE TRUSTEES IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, TO PROVIDE THE GOVERNOR MAY FILL TRUSTEE VACANCIES, TO PROVIDE NOTICE AND HEARING REQUIREMENTS, AND TO DELETE EXISTING PROVISIONS CONCERNING TRUSTEE REMOVAL AND FILLING OF VACANCIES BY SCHOOL BOARDS.
What does this new law mean for the Richland 2 school board?
Not much information is available today on the State legislature's website. A note reads:
THIS IS A TEMPORARY VERSION. THIS DOCUMENT WILL REMAIN IN THIS VERSION UNTIL FINAL APPROVAL BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL.
But I recall some of the reasons the Governor can use to remove a school board trustee. Misfeasance. Malfeasance.
Does he just have to believe that such conduct took place? How will he decide? What "proof", if any, will he need or want?
For more than three years I have been decrying the fact (FACT) that the Richland 2 school board has been operating with two illegitimate members. Teresa Holmes and Amelia McKie have never taken the oath-of-office legally.
They were duly elected on November 6, 2018.
An oath-of-office was administered to them on November 13, 2018; however, neither was eligible to take the oath on that date.
Each first became eligible to take the oath-of-office on December 4, 2018, after filing her Statement of Economic Intrerests Report with the South Carolina Ethics Commission.
Neither has taken the oath-of-office since December 4, 2018.
Thus, neither is a legitimate board member.
What would happen, if Governor McMaster removed Holmes and McKie?
That would leave Agostini, Scott, McFadden, Caution-Parker, and Manning. Now look at the balance! Three Conservatives. Two Liberals. How would those five have voted last night?
The vote clearly would have been in Gary Ginn's favor. And I would ask for an immediate re-hearing, and they'd vote in my favor. Agostini, Scott and McFadden know that what happened to Ginn and me on January 25th was wrong. The vote would 3-2 in our favor. Hear that, Caution-Parker and Manning?
Would the Governor appoint successors for Holmes and McKie? Or would the Governor tell the remaining five trustees to appoint the successors? Or would the Richland County Council appoint? Or would the Richland County Elections Commission have to conduct a special election?
Either way, there is a good chance that more-conservative members would join the board, whether appointed by the Governor or the remaining five board members.
Can the refusal by Holmes and McKie to take the oath-of-office legally be considered misfeasance or malfeasance? Where is my legal dictionary?
Did you hear that freight train roll through Richland Two late last night?
Gary Ginn's grievance was heard in the second executive session of the Richland 2 school board last night. As anticipated, his appeal to the board was denied.
The public missed all the antics. It's certainly too bad that his grievance wasn't conducted in full view of the public. He and I have not talked about that. But it was what I wanted for mine, and I bet a box of Dunkin' Donuts that he wanted it in public, too.
As was the case with my grievance, Gary also was denied access to ALL Richland 2 property and was prohibited from attending the hearing on his own grievance. Tell me again how it is fair that a person is denied his opportunity to face his accusers.
What you can view is the hanging. Errr, the board's vote on the matter they had just considered. That part of the livestream.com/richland2 video begins at 4:43:13. Previously, it was possible to capture just that part of the video and put a link here. But the District decided, in its infinite wisdom, to restrict copying of the YouTube recording into Vibby.com. So now, you must go to livestream.com/richland2 and pull the timer bar across the bottom of the video to 4:43:13.
Agenda Item 17.2 was Gary Ginn's grievance. When a motion was called for, Trustee Agostini moved to accept the appeal (by Ginn) and revoke the no-trespass notice.
Notice especially the body posture and attention that Caution-Parker, McKie and Holmes give her. As Agostini speaks, Caution-Parker is turned away from her, McKie appears to be studying her lap (is she using her phone during a board meeting???), and Holmes
When a Second is asked for, Trustee Scott begins discussion but is stopped until there is a Second, which she makes. Scott makes, then withdraws, a request for Agostini to alter her motion.
Again, watch Caution-Parker's swiveling in her chair, leaning back, and holding her folded arms across her chest. Any body-language expert can tell you very quickly what she is shouting by that posture.
McKie is still busy with something off her desk. McKie appears to be looking at her phone in her lap.
Holmes, as usual, is not looking at Agostini and appears to be just tolerating her words until she finishes speaking. This is par for the course at board meetings.
Holmes, after waiting for Agostini to finish, asks for a Second. Trustee Scott seconds.
As discussion starts, the camera clearly shows McKie on her phone. She is reading whatever is on her phone and not paying attention to Trustee Scott. Why not? My compliments to the camera manager for showing McKie's clear violation of Board Policy about use of phones during meetings. (I hope he doesn't get fired for having done so.)
After Trustee Agostini re-states her motion, Holmes asks for another (unnecessary) Second. Holmes says, "Second for Dr. Caution-Par... I mean, Dr. Scott."
During discussion, Trustee Scott addressed "fairness" and "doing the right thing" She stated that they were there dealing with two trespass notices (one last night and one other (mine previously, on February 22) previously)) "and nothing to other people". By that, she meant no action against Pamela Davis and Baron Davis for their actions and words on January 25th. She added, "We have to be able to walk the talk."
Look again at Caution-Parker's posture. What does that say to me? "Cut out the chatter. Let's hang 'im and get out of here."
The vote was 3-4. Agostini's motion failed. The four against Agostini's motion were Holmes, McKie, Caution-Parker, and Manning. Of course.
Then Holmes was ready to move on, but Manning reminded her they needed to vote on the grievance. (By this meeting, Holmes has been acting as the Board Chair for 9½ months and she still doesn't know procedures!) Manning moved to deny the appeal. Caution-Parker seconded. (She must be the Designated Second for any motions made by The Core Four.)
During this vote, it was hard to see what was on McKie's tablet screen, but it didn't look like District business. As McKie voted, she reached into her purse and lifted her phone in her left hand. Why is she looking at her phone again? Her car keys were on the desk. She was more than ready to leave.
The vote was 4-3. Passed. As Holmes announces the vote, McKie is looking down at her phone.
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