Guest Editorial: Don’t Forget – R2 Trustees Are Actually the Superintendent’s Boss

Please review the portion of the livestream recording of the Dec. 14, 2021 board meeting, beginning at 4:43:40, where Trustee LaShonda McFadden said she has been ex-communicated from speaking to Superintendent Baron Davis and spoke about being placed under some type of order of confidentiality. We should be greatly concerned about that. Does the superintendent need his hands slapped for attempting to silence a trustee?

Following her comments, Trustee McFadden moved to amend board agenda policy BEBD so that the Superintendent and board chair are not the only ones who can have items put on the agenda. General, if Trustees Lindsay Agostini, LaShonda McFadden or Monica Scott ask to have an item placed on the agenda for discussion, the other four trustees will vote against them.

When viewing this section of the board meeting on You Tube, observe closely how the motion was handled by Chairman Teresa Holmes. When the vote to amend policy BEBD was called for, the she called for a hand-vote, instead of the electronic vote where votes are secret until they all appear at the same time on the overhead screen for all to see. When she asked for those in favor to raise their hands, Manning raised his hand, then quickly lowered it.

Trustees Agostini, Scott and McFadden voted in favor. Manning, Caution-Parker, McKie and Holmes voted against.

Not to put too fine a point on Roberts Rules, but at that point, the chair should have announced the vote as 3-4. She did not per Robert’s Rules of Order §4:43. Instead, she merely declared “Motion failed.”

My question to the four trustees who voted against Trustee McFadden’s motion is why do the core four just stick together and routinely vote against any motion by McFadden, Scott or Agostini?  The four seem not to be able to think independently and act on what is correct for the board?

 A board member should not have to fight to get an item on the agenda. A board member shouldn’t be subject to the whim of the chair or superintendent. By voting down a motion to consider an item, the core four eliminate valuable discussion. The place for that discussion is as a board agenda item.

In the scheduling a meeting to set an agenda, the chair should be representing the entire board. That might possibly require her to oppose the superintendent at some point, if she performs her elected role as chair responsibly.

Furthermore, when Trustee McFadden departed prior to the end of the meeting, the chair should have observed that and announced it, stating that quorum still existed and that the meeting would continue. (At a previous meeting, the chair announced late in the long meeting that a board member had left at 7 p.m., when she actually had departed at 8:30 p.m.)

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