Letter: Legitimize R2 Board Members

As your final board meeting as Chair approaches for the 2019-2020 school year, will you please consider administering the oath of office to Amelia McKie and Teresa Holmes, so that they will finally become legitimate members of the Richland 2 School Board. It is not too late to amend the agenda for the June 30, 2020 board meeting for this item.

On November 13, 2018, after they were elected, each took the oath of office before she was eligible to do so. Neither had filed her Statement of Economic Interests with the South Carolina Ethics Commission.

McKie and Holmes did not become eligible to take the oath until December 4, 2018, when each filed her SEI. To the best of my knowledge and belief, the oath of office has not been administered to either on or after December 4, 2018. According to South Carolina law, they are usurping the official office of school board trustee.

There is a simple, quick and free remedy. Administer the oath of office to each.

The District has paid compensation to them for trustee meetings, paid expenses on their behalf and may have reimbursed them for other expenses. These payments and expenses could constitute illegal disbursements of taxpayer and government funds. District employees who handle such disbursements could end up at risk for doing so.

As a school district desiring to be known as “premier”, shouldn’t this problem be corrected?

Gus Philpott

Columbia