School Board considers changing 'Let's Listen'

Moffat County residents likely will have to get on the agenda to address the Board of Education if policy changes discussed Thursday are implemented.

In an attempt to streamline the process, board members informally agreed a change was needed.

"The question is: How open a forum do we want this to be?" Superintendent of Schools Pete Bergmann asked board members. "If we have an open and public meeting and we have public participation, we can't control what they say."

Currently, 30 minutes before each board meeting are set aside for general public comment in a "Let's Listen" session.

Because there typically are few comments, and the meeting doesn't officially begin until 7 p.m., board members often are left with 30 minutes to kill before they can discuss agenda items.

"Lets Listen" meets a need, but it's awkward and inefficient," Bergmann said. "It's scheduled for 30 minutes, but they're often wasted."

Board member Trish Snyder suggested that the board continue open public comment periods but interrupt if the discussion addresses a specific staff member or a student.

"Part of the reason we have an open forum is we want to get in touch with our constituency," board President John Wellman said.

Board members liked the idea of having some advance notice of public issues by seeing them on the agenda.

"We would not even stifle public engagement, we would just have a process of how that's handled to streamline (it)," Bergmann said.

Public comments also would be given a time limit.

The change would mean board meetings will begin at 6:30 p.m. instead of 7 p.m.

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, Ext. 210 or by e-mail at ccurrie@craigdailypress.com.

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