Thursday, July 14, 2022

Can three board members control the School Board?

Many people will say that the school board is controlled by the majority of board members. In other words, four board members control. 

This is NOT correct.

Three board members can control the board, and they should. Judiciously, of course.

Remember when three trustees walked out because of the short notice they were given to consider the superintendent's proposed contract renewal? That worked!

They should have used that again when they were asked to vote on The Wyche Law Firm on such short notice. The superintendent and the chair apparently withheld information about Wyche from at least three of the trustees until the executive committee met. Did Manning, McKie and Caution-Parker get the information days earlier? Did they even care if they didn't?

Agostini, Scott and McFadden could have walked out, eliminating a quorum and halting the meeting.

And last Tuesday night, when the same three wanted more time to consider the $300,000,000+ budget for 2022-2023?

Walk-out time.

The same when they raised a Point-of-Order. When the Chair failed to recognize the call for a Point-of-Order, the trustee needs to say it again and more loudly. If still not recognized, then stand up and say it loudly. And if that doesn't work, three trustees can walk out.

They could remain in the hall for five minutes, hoping the Chair would decide to comply with Robert's Rules of Order. If not, the meeting is over for that evening.

I wrote to them earlier in the year and suggested they consider that philosophy. I told them it's like training a new puppy. 

When you train a puppy, it only takes a few times of discipline. 

If the chair refused reasonable requests and positions, walk out. 

I figured it might have taken a little longer with the Chair, but it would have worked. The bullying would have stopped.

Pass motion; then make secondary motion???

At Tuesday night's board meeting (July 12, 2022) there was a lengthy discussion of the proposed 2022-2023 Budget. 

Trustees Agostini and McFadden asked for more time to consider it. McKie had made a motion to approve the budget. McFadden made a (secondary) motion to delay the vote and  allow more time for deliberation. 

Manning said there was a  motion standing. He was right, but he knows full well what a secondary motion is and in which order motions are voted. He has been on the board since 2010, and he often had to explain secondary motions to last year's chair.

And then McKie chimed in the wrong information that she has spoken about in the past.

She should know by now that, when a motion passes, such a "secondary motion" is meaningless. The motion would have already passed.

But Manning, as chair and member of the pack of the Core Four, did not correct her.

And without a Parliamentarian the wrong information did not get corrected.

McFadden's secondary motion should have quickly been seconded by Agostini or Scott. Then there should have been discussion and a vote.

Unfortunately, the Core Four stood ready to approve the budget, so they would have voted en bloc 3-4 on McFadden's motion, causing it to fail. But there would have always been hope that Holmes would not have understood McFadden's motion and would have "hit the wrong button", making the vote 4-3 (passing).

That would have killed the primary motion and would have just taken them back to a starting point, and they would have had to wiggle to produce some kind of wording to get what The Four wanted - a passed Budget Tuesday night.

How much money did the District waste on the two "executive coaching and parliamentary procedures" trainings? $10,-15,000? More? Did anyone ever submit a FOIA request?