Had I become Chair, I wouldn’t have asked, I would have just scheduled those meeting times and launched a round of publicity about opening the process to those who couldn’t attend.
But none of that was to be.
I suspect that after five and a half years, I’m now in a better position to encourage it to happen.
Over the past two years, the School Board has appeared to agree with much of the content published on Watching Broward.
Having been on both sides of the dais, there’s an air of credibility that the others just don’t have.
Moving the meetings to evening hours won’t be a panacea, and it won’t result in consistently packed meetings.
But there will always be upcoming issues that will.
Boundary meetings always have a good turnout, as do public hearings on taxes. Both of those are held at night.
And even if members of the public don’t show, it’s still the opportunity and appearance of openness that counts.
At least some of the media and public criticism of inaccessibility will fall by the wayside.
Comments by Buddy Nevins on Broward Beat suggest that School Board members are difficult to reach.
We’ve heard it all before.
I can’t speak for the current Board, but as a Board member, I wasn’t.
I answered calls and returned e-mails. Many times those return e-mails were written at 2 am, but they were written none-the-less.
I held town hall meetings in each of my high schools at least once a year and sometimes more.
Others did, too.
I toured schools, sometimes with pre-arrangement, many times unannounced.
When a parent or community member requested a meeting, I held that meeting at the local school along with one on one conversations.
I’d say it’s all about appearances and public image.
But don’t expect it to be noticed by anybody in the media, because it won’t be.
Still, it’s about rebuilding public trust in a system racked by bad decisions and bad press.