I have decided to do something new for me. I have decided to take a more active part in my community by seeking a position on our local school board. As part of my quest I have decided to attend every board meeting I can between now and the election next year. As my first post here on my blog I would like to share my observations from tonight.
First, let me point out that this was my first time to attend a school board meeting. I have read a lot recently about how crazy these meetings have become. I was not prepared for what I saw.
There were a small number of community members in attendance. Probably less than 40. 10 people were allowed to take 3 minutes each to address the board. About half complained about the mask mandate. The other half had a number of concerns. Several had issues with the Superintendent’s contract and salary. It was interesting to watch people that clearly did not like speaking in public sincerely express their concerns. I think more people should do this.
Before these people were allowed to speak Teresa Holmes, the chair, read the “rules”. I thought they were a bit restrictive and quite honestly I plan to challenge them in upcoming meetings. Every time someone broke a rule she smacked her gavel on her desk and loudly announced “YOU’RE OUT OF ORDER”. This did not end with the end of the public portion of the meeting. I thought she was going the break her gavel with the other board members.
The business was conducted in a lengthy formal manner that was very tiring. I hope that is not the norm, but I suspect it is. I was surprised at how often the chair seemed to ignore items brought up by certain board members. I thought it was a bit odd to have the superintendent sitting next to the chairlady as his position was discussed by the board. The chair even consulted him on matters of board protocol.
The meeting ended with one board member suggesting the chair step down from her position until she takes some classes on how to be courteous. This motion was seconded but the chair dismissed the meeting. Lots of yelling and I regret to say that I was clapping very loudly when this all took place. I guess I was caught up in the moment.
This should all be available for streaming soon so I will eventually post a link to the video and post the timeline for all the good stuff, so you don’t have to watch the entire meeting. It’s a year to the elections. I hope our school district can survive this board until then.