Cue up the Darth Vader music, comrades...
President Jane Rath and the rest of the school board had a "first reading" of a new policy concerning public comments during school board meetings. They go as follows:
- Public discussion can only last 30 minutes.
- No citizen may speak for more than three minutes.
- No citizen may speak to any board member, other than the one directing the meeting (typically president Rath).
Keep in mind that very rarely do citizens attend school board meetings. Also, if they do attend, very rarely do any citizens speak. So, why the change? If I want to criticize tax policy, I should be able to take a reasonable amount of time to lay out my case. If I want to speak about a great baseball game, theater production, or band concert, I shouldn't be limited to three miniscule minutes.
This is pure politics and abuse of power, folks. Rath just won re-election. She has nothing to lose by pushing this along. She can use her power to shield the five members who face re-election next year. There is no good reason why this policy should take effect. No citizen rambles on and on during meetings. With this change, the public cannot take full advantage of the Constitution to face elected officials and question their actions...well, as long as you keep it under three minutes and direct your comments to Der Kommissar.