There is an update at the bottom
Another commenter at UD made the following argument:
Under open meetings laws in most states, school boards can only consider items placed on the agenda IN ADVANCE. The old board decided not to put the ID policy on the December agenda. Yes, the new board was sworn in during the December meeting but could only consider items already on the agenda. They voted to put the ID policy on the agenda for the January meeting. THIS IS ALL THEY COULD DO LEGALLY.
And DaveScot responded:
Well, at least this is an attempt at an answer. I can’t find any prohibition in the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act regarding ad hoc agenda items. In my experience these are often added at the beginning of meetings to cover things where timeliness is a concern. Not everything that needs action can be anticipated a month in advance. Robert’s Rules of Order certainly don’t prohibit so I’m afraid the onus is on you to show me the Pennsylvania statute that prohibits it. Otherwise your claim is baseless.
I think the commenter overstated the case, and Dave is right that there is no legal prohibition to prevent the school board from placing an item on the agenda and voting on it at the same meeting (unless someone can show a PA law that does say that, which I doubt). But I think Dave still misses the point. Regardless of whether they had the legal authority to rescind the ID policy at that meeting – which I’m sure they did – he’s making a huge deal out of the fact that they didn’t do so but waited until the second meeting to do it. But it doesn’t have to be illegal in order to explain why they didn’t do it immediately. Dave seems to think that it’s not good enough to show some reasonable explanation for why they didn’t vote on it in the first hour they were in office; nothing short of a legal prohibition on them doing so will count. But come on, that’s just plain silly.
The fact is that, as a matter of tradition, policy motions (as opposed to procedural ones) not on the agenda of a meeting (and remember, the new school board didn’t make the agenda for the Dec. 5th meeting, the old school board did) are placed on the agenda for the following meeting. Dave still seems to think, erroneously, that timeliness was a concern, that rescinding the policy at that meeting would have changed something.
We’ve already proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was not true (an argument he hasn’t even attempted to engage even while pretending he’s still correct). Nothing the board could have done in December was going to change the judge’s ruling or the legal fees they would have to pay. The board’s legal counsel agreed, the attorneys for both sides agreed, the judge agreed, and every legal scholar I’ve seen discuss the matter agrees. It’s time to stop engaging in this dishonest claim that the board could have changed the outcome of the case if they’d just acted fast enough.
That’s the linchpin of this little conspiracy theory, that the board intentionally delayed rescinding the policy to make sure that the school district they were elected to serve, the school district their own children attend, would lose a million bucks. That’s a ridiculous enough assertion to begin with, much less to make without a shred of evidence to support it. It’s significantly more ridiculous when combined with the fact that nothing the board could do was going to avoid a ruling in the case.
Update: And here’s Dave’s latest lie. He actually links to the minutes of the January 3rd meeting while simultaneously claiming:
The vote the next month was 8-0 and there was no discussion. There was no discussion because they were obeying the order of a federal judge.
Either Dave can’t read, or Dave is a baldfaced liar. There was indeed discussion of the matter and input from the public and it’s right there in the minutes. Oddly, the PDF file won’t let me cut and paste and I’m not gonna type it all out, but four different citizens stood up to give their thoughts on the policy – Jeff Brown, Keith DiGiovanni, Steve Stough and Brett Miller (with Miller being for the policy). There were then two votes taken on the ID policy, one on whether to appeal the ruling in the case, which had a 7-1 vote (Heather Geesey, who voted for the ID policy originally, wanted to appeal it). Then a vote on whether to rescind the policy, which was 8-0 (presumably, Geesey recognized that even though she disagreed, they should comply with the law and take the policy off the books).
He then writes:
The question remains – why didn’t they fulfill their campaign promise at the first opportunity? If law prohibited it then that’s the end of it. Otherwise the question remains unanswered
But this is just stupid. The standard he’s erecting is that either they were legally prevented from doing it immediately or there is no possible explanation other than the conspiracy fantasy for which he has no evidence whatsoever. That’s so idiotic, it’s hardly worth addressing. Dave, seriously, it’s time to give this one up. You’re just making yourself look more and more foolish with every word you write on it.