I was able to attend the school board meeting last night. This is the first meeting I have attended in probably a couple of months. This was also the first meeting I have attended with new board member, Mr. Doerer.
The meeting went longer than what had become normal, without any guest presentations or speakers. The reason it went longer was due to the discussion that took place, something I have advocated since the summer and fall of 2013 when the coup occurred. One of those posts was Trust and Assumptions.
When the topic of an elementary choir trip to America Sings in Orlando was up for discussion, it was actually discussed. Dr. Whitaker had obviously done much research on his own time on the legalities and liabilities board members could potentially face resulting from their actions as board members. He focused primarily on the area of field trip approvals as that is what was up for approval. He shared what he had learned in his research and explained the reason some field trip approvals, such as those with out of state destinations, are more likely to come with liability risks.
The discussion was informative but the fact discussion was happening is what was different.
On another subject, approval of the contract between ECS and Southern Bone & Joint, Mr. Doerer asked that it be withheld from approval with the other consent agenda items for further discussion. After the approval of the other items it was discussed as well.
Again, the fact the discussion occurred is what was different.
It was different from most other board meetings I have seen over the past three years. I did notice an atmosphere open and conducive to healthy and informative discussion at this board meeting. It was a different atmosphere. I wanted to share this positive difference with those of you who were unable to attend because I don’t want to be one of those people who only make negative comments and not share the positive when they do occur.
The discussion was informative and provided context to the items being voted on. That is an improvement.
During board comments Mr. Doerer recognized first time attendees and encouraged all to invite and bring others to the next meeting. He said the room should be filled. I agree.
I commend all the board members and superintendent for their participation and discussion in this board meeting. If you are interested in the activities of Enterprise City School System I encourage you to attend the the next meeting and see for yourself if this continues. Unlike most meetings in the past, you might actually learn some of the context behind the votes.
There was a refreshing change in atmosphere in this meeting. That is one in a row. You have to start somewhere. I hope it continues.
If the different makeup of the school board can bring more open and transparent discussion and information to their meetings could a different makeup of the city council do the same for that organization? Let your thoughts be known on this question August 23rd at the ballot box and we will see.
Until next time…
Originally posted on Peculiar Perspective on 7/27/2016