Allowing Public Input During School Committee Meetings?

I would like to take a moment to thank Missy Decas for taking the time to attend the last Wareham School Committee meeting on September 17th.  During the "Public Participation" portion of the meeting, Mrs Decas inquired if the School Committee has ever considered changing the format of our meetings to allow the public to participate by offering comments later on in meetings when the meaningful discussions actually occur.

She found it frustrating that often she felt like raising her hand to offer feedback on items as they were being discussed.  However, there is no such opportunity for the her or anyone else once Public Participation has ended.

As I told her, the School Committee has indeed considered a format almost exactly as she suggested (a couple minutes allowed per commenter).  It was the first item that I requested to be put on the agenda when I was first elected to the School Committee back in 2012.  The full 14 minute video excerpt of that discussion is below.

Unfortunately, I couldn't convince anyone else on the Committee to support it at that time.  However, I did notice Mr. Swett respond to Mrs Decas that some sort of additional, albeit limited, commentary from the public during SC meetings was "something worth considering".

Given this recent (renewed?) interest, I have asked Chairman Sylvia to add a formal discussion regarding public participation to an upcoming agenda, and he has graciously added it to the agenda for our next meeting - Wednesday October 1st.

So if being able to be heard by all ears of the full School Committee during any regular meeting is something that is important to you too, then I urge you to attend this meeting and let everyone know.

It's up to you now.


Wareham School Committee Meeting - May 2012
Discussion regarding public participation



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