As you may have heard, our Board is now going to allow public comment regarding the superintendent finalist at the May 27th meeting. However, they have significantly changed the rules – without any public discussion regarding this change.
Interesting that Dougco also changed their public comment policies:
In 2009, Dougco allowed 5 minutes per speaker with NO limit on the number of speakers.
In 2013, Dougco only allows 2 minutes per speaker and no more than 30 minutes of public comment.
“estimated time: 6:35 pm (estimated duration: 45 minutes)”
“To ensure the community has an opportunity to voice opinions to the Board, time is provided during the special meeting for public comment. Sign up online here after 8:00 am on Friday, May 23 to speak to the Board of Education. Sign up will close at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 27. Sign up will be taken on a first come first served basis.”
“At this time, the Board listens to concerns on topics related to the item on this evening’s agenda for 45 minutes. Board members or staff will respond during this meeting or at a later time. We listen with respect and ask those who address the Board to do the same. In order to respect all persons addressing the Board, we request that the audience not applaud individual speakers and that issues, rather than personalities, be addressed. Any resident or staff member of the district who has completed the requested information on the public comment roster may speak. Due to an anticipated high volume of public comment, there is a one minute time limit per person.”
“If there are a number of speakers commenting on the same topic this evening, we ask that remarks be consolidated and new thoughts or concepts shared. It is not the number of people who address the Board that leads to better decision-making, rather the content of your presentation. So, we respectfully ask that you do not repeat the same message of an earlier speaker. If there are four or more people who wish to address the Board on the same side of the same topic, each person must sign up online and then the Board will allow 3 minutes for that view to be heard. All those who sign up must accompany the speaker to the front of the Board room. We respectfully ask that you do not repeat the same message, but rather present varying concepts on the same theme.”
If the board anticipates many who want to speak, isn’t it the right thing to allow for longer comment period to ensure that, as elected officials, you are truly making an effort to listen to constituents?