January 18 Public Comments, Part 1

Those that supported the teacher’s rally at the January 18 school board meeting complained that moving new business items before public comment was censorship. However, there was no censorship. Public comment was never taken out of the agenda. No board member advocated this. All that occurred was a reordering of agenda items days in advance.

Yes, BDDC-R provides a format for an agenda. BDDE-R policy item B provides the means to modify the agenda by the majority. Regardless of the agenda advertised ahead of the meeting, school board members must still vote to approve the agenda.

The agenda followed at the January 18th school board meeting was always going to be the final agenda regardless of the process of getting there. The advertised agenda can follow the BDDC-R format and modified at the school board meeting by majority vote. The drawback is less advanced notice to the public.

A better solution is to advertise any agenda not following the BDDC-R policy in advance to provide better notice to the public. There is precedent for this. Special Meetings or emergency meetings do not always follow the BDDC-R format. The upcoming January 25th meeting does not follow the BDDC-R format. Plus BDDC-R does not say “every meeting shall operate under this format”. Our conclusion is that too much is being made on this issue.

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