We all reacted with negative reviews of the very idea that the School Board could redirect resources and make staff more efficient by reducing the number of School Board meetings throughout the year.

Yes, I was stuck in the old politics as usual mode, too.

But when I recommended to the Board through several articles that they should consider the idea of hiring an individual with business credentials to run the business side of the district more effectively, it actually came to pass.

Was it from my recommendation?  Maybe, but I think the Board members are smarter and more independent than that.

They’ve seen what incompetents have done to the business side of the district and I suspect the choice was driven by the absolute need to fix what’s obviously broken.

I’ve already been challenged several times on the proposal from the outside.

My response?  Give Runcie the opportunity to sink or swim on his own.

Listening to the workshop presentation, it’s much more involved than the simplistic cutting of Board meetings and public access.

It’s aimed to make the flow of information and decision making more efficient.

So let me take off my political hat and put on my business hat.

It’s worth a shot.

One of the things Runcie must do is reorganize operations from stem to stern, and this would definitely be part of it.

It goes against the grain, but I suspect everything he might want to do would qualify as well.

What we know is; the system’s broken.

We can’t sit back, gripe and moan about a broken system like arm chair generals and then gripe and moan more when a real attempt to fix it comes along.

Would it be the lamented loss of transparency and public access?  Only time and experience will tell.

What I would suggest is this:

Change the structure of meetings to make public input easier.

First and foremost, hold meetings at night to open public access to everyone who can’t attend daytime meetings.

Who can’t attend daytime meetings?  Parents, teachers, other community members that have obligations during daytime hours.

Start meetings no earlier than 6pm with Board reports and Committee reports.

Perhaps even the consent agenda.

But give public input a time certain no later than 7pm.

Those simple changes would have the effect of expanding public access to their elected officials.  More than they’ve ever had.

It would also stifle the tendency to run six hour (or longer) meetings.

Give it a shot, but Runcie must make good on his promise of a streamlined, more efficient staff and decision making process.

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