School board policy will limit public input
This newspaper reports the activities of most elected boards and councils in the community by attending their regular meetings. We are there to report their actions which often affect how you live your lives and the taxes you pay.
The free exchange of information as agenda items are tackled and questions answered help our reporters and the public understand why the elected body voted the way it did. Questions and answers while the discussion is underway, and before the board or council votes, are vital in everyone’s understanding of why the elected body is dealing with that subject and how it affects their constituents.
That openness the vast majority of the time is an important responsibility of our elected officials.
However, one elected body in the community has now severely limited that exchange with the public by passing an unnecessary policy Tuesday night. Seven members of the Chase County Board of Education approved policy #8346, which “permits” the public to speak at board meetings only during the public comment time on the agenda. And, the public comment time comes BEFORE any agenda or discussion items come up.
The school board’s public comment time is wedged in after various reports from administration and board committees, but before the real “meat” of the meeting where most questions from the public would arise.
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