Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Trustees' Dream List

Here are some items I think the school board trustees should consider early in the remainder of the school year.

- Direct the superintendent to rescind the no-contact letter from his attorney to Trustee McFadden. She is an equal board member and deserves the same respect that all other board members should have from him.

- Start the 6:30PM meetings on time. The public is waiting. This may require better time-management in the executive session or a change in the number of items on its agenda. Adjourn at 6:20PM. Finish business in the second Executive Session.

- If the 6:30PM meeting will be delayed, have an announcement made as to the delay and the reason.

- The motion at 6:30PM should probably be to re-convene in open meeting, not end the executive session. Consult a Parliamentarian.

- Take roll call at 5:30PM and again at 6:30PM. Announce the presence of a quorum. If a trustee departs early, verbally note that for the record and state whether a quorum continues to be present.

- Direct the superintendent to reverse Libby Roof's decision (or whoever made it) to restrict District meeting recordings on Livestream and YouTube from the use of clipping software such as Vibby.

When I complained about the new block earlier this year, Mrs. Roof replied to me on March 29, 2022, "The district's media production team recently standardized the settings for all videos uploaded on the district's YouTube channel. This standardization ensures that, no matter which member of our team uploads a video to the district's channel, we will apply the Video Details settings consistently and in line with our best practices."

I'll refrain from expressing my honest reaction to that email. I realized it would be futile to try to persuade her otherwise. Either it was she who made the decision or the decision was made higher up. Vibby and similar tools allow the clipping of a segment of a recording. (It was very useful for calling attention to the antics of the former chair in the 2021-2022 school year.)

- Shorten the meetings. Work against an Ending Time; for example, 8:00PM Maximum!

- Reduce the number of staff members required to show up. If they need to know something from the meeting, they can be directed to the relevant portion of the meeting and can watch it on Livestream.

- Severely curtail the length of the dog-and-pony shows by the superintendent's staff.

- Re-title the Inspiration Moment to "Student Showcase". Last night's was good, but not inspirational. Establish a time-limit for that agenda item. 

- Determine the superintendent's role in board meetings. These are meetings of the Board. He is not a member of the Board.

What else should be on this list?

Handling the SCSBA Resolutions

At last night's school board meeting (11/29/2022) one of the Agenda items was a list of 34 Proposed Resolutions to be voted on this week-end by Richland Two's two appointed delegates to the South Carolina School Boards Association meeting.

The whole process could have been simple and direct. The Chair might have said, "I would like a motion to authorize the delegates to vote Yes in favor of each Proposed Resolution. Do I have a motion?"

A trustee could have said, "So moved."

A second trustee could have said, "Second."

The Chair then would have called for Discussion.

Trustee Scott could have said, "I move to remove Resolutions 1 & 2." Trustee McFadden could have said, "I move to remove Resolutions 14 & 15." 

If no trustee wanted other Proposed Resolutions removed, then the board would have voted on all the Proposed Resolutions except 1, 2, 14, 15.

Then the board could have discussed and voted on #1; then #2; then #14; then #15.

The four new board members may have had little exposure to parliamentary procedures, but the others have 2-10 years' experience. 

But they got through it. 

Did you observe the superintendent's demeanor during the opening at 5:30PM and during much of the board meeting? You can see it on the recorded meeting at
He made little or no effort to assist or coach Chair Agostini. The brief opening of the initial session starts playing at 05:34. The board had to re-do the motion to enter executive session to correct the wording of the motion. The recording of the Regular Session begins at 1:19:36

I think he'd be well advised to lose the attitude and get past the last four years of dislike for Lindsay Agostini. He no longer controls the board and no longer has a board that will give him whatever he wants. He will be accountable to the board in ways quite different from the past four years. He should seriously consider shaping up or shipping out.