St. Paul school board looks to add more time for public comment

The St. Paul school board intends to change the schedule of its meetings so that more members of the public may speak to it.

Generally speaking, the board meets around 5:30 p.m. prior to its official monthly meetings, allowing up to 30 minutes of public remarks.

Speakers, who are allowed three or two minutes, depending on the number that sign up, utilize the whole thirty minutes about half the time. In the event that they don’t, the board doesn’t start working until 6:05.

Board member Uriah Ward wants to allow up to 45 minutes for public discussion, but wants to start the meeting right away if no one finishes speaking before that time is over — at 5:30 or 6:15.

“Sessions would be longer if there were a lot of people coming to speak, but in other cases if there were fewer speakers, the meetings would be shorter,” he added.

The concept is generally well-liked by the board, but no changes have been approved yet. Whether to start the program with festive staff and student recognitions or with public remarks is still up for debate.

Jackie Turner, the board’s head of administration and operations, said during a discussion at the meeting on Tuesday that the board approved the pause between public comments and the 6:05 board sessions so that speakers at the official meetings would know when to arrive.

We wanted to give the community that assurance, she added.

There was a period when there was no cap on public speakers, which “wasn’t healthy for anyone,” according to district administrator Dana Abrams, who promotes public comment. However, the break before to the 6:05 meeting is also “not a smart use of anybody’s time,” she said.

At its October meeting, the board is anticipated to decide on a new method and set a new agenda for November.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest Articles