Too close for school board’s comfort?
On a recent Thursday the Jeffco school board convened in its “Great Hall of the People” to discuss, without a sound system, the future of its billion-dollar budget. While the unwashed public could observe from a distance of more than twice the distance of a “10-foot pole,” the board’s employees filled two ranks of tables at a “one-pole” distance. Several of the board members sat with their backs to both groups.
Midway through the first set, an observer moved closer in order to hear better, which provoked a panic attack from the board, which may have feared an attack of cooties.
Security was summoned and even a sheriff’s deputy before it was determined that the observer was neither an anarchist nor a plague carrier.
Between sets it was discovered that microphones had been invented sometime in the dim mists of the 20th century, so the second set proceeded uneventfully and partially amplified.
So for attendance at future board meetings the question might be: ‘To delouse or to degauss (degaussing refers to demagnitizing metallic objects such as ships or airplanes)?
Russell W. Haas
Constituents have a right to hear meetings
Education is the biggest state budget item, and Jefferson County is the largest school district in Colorado. Jeffco spends nearly $1 billion on education each year.
The state and public put a lot of trust into the hands of the Jeffco school board, expecting them to act responsibly. Isn’t there a law that says the school board meetings are supposed to be public, with business conducted in an open and transparent manner? If people in the audience can’t hear, are those legal meetings?
Lately at the Jefferson County school board meetings, citizens have been harassed when they make an effort to hear or understand the proceedings. Too often the board members talk very quietly, and on the rare occasions when microphones are available, they don’t talk into the microphones. Parts of meetings that they are supposed to record have sometimes failed to be recorded at what appear to be “convenient” times.
Does someone from the legislature, or a state attorney, need to explain to the majority of the board members that they are required to conduct open and transparent meetings that can be heard? What is being hidden?