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.