Thursday, September 07, 2006

Board Transparency/Televising

I support an open and transparent Board of Education and while the current times for the school board meetings might be more convenient for Board members, I believe they need to be held in the late afternoon/evening hours as they were previously. Mr. Crawford made a motion for this change and was supported by members Wade, Marshall, and Bailey in January of this year. Ms. Young, Mr. Coggins, and myself did not vote in favor of this change. In addition, I have advocated for televised Board meetings for the past two years. I have served on a Board Communication Committee and an Interagency Communication Committee with the Charles County Government. Both committees recommendations were to televise the Board meetings. North Point is already equipped to televise these meetings and Comcast has given us a channel that we are in danger of losing if not utilized. Televising the meetings could be done with minimal costs but must have a majority vote of a Board that wishes to be transparent. In addition, the channel could be utilized for school events, student courses and staff training.

On another note, there has been a lot of controversy over the appointing of new Board members and whether this should be done in public. Please let me clarify my position. During the last appointing process where Mr. Coggins was selected, the Board was advised by their attorney, Mr. Eric Schwartz, to repeat the same process as previously used. The Board, voted by a majority to accept their attorney's recommendation. I believe the interviews could have been video taped and made available for public viewing after the announcement of the selected member. You see, we had 42 applicants who couldn't all be interviewed on the same day. For the interview process to take place in a public setting would have given the later applicants an unfair advantage over the first applicants. They would have been aware of the questioning and would have been able to prepare for their interviews. Some applicants would have had an unfair advantage and this is what I was against, not public transaprency as misrepresented by others.

8 comments:

Marcus N. Tillman said...

I believe the School Board Meetings should be televised like the County Commission meetings.

Anonymous said...

I think the meetings should be televised. The meetings are held during the day right around the time I have to pick my daughter up from school!

I have to schedule a meeting to listen to the BOE tapes.

If it were televised it would make life a lot easier.

Another thing too - is that there needs to be some kind of key explaining what you guys are voting on - in the minutes they are referred to by numbers and letters and some kind of codes - nobody knows what they are!

:)

This is a great blog, keep up the good work!

Heather Bartlett

doodydom said...

Of course you would want to spend tax dollars, especially when you wear revealing clothing to board meetings. That is not moral.

Jennifer Abell said...

Doodydom,
Okay, I have answered all your post and still don't know your identity because you choose to keep it hidden. I have a very hard time with people that feel the need to spew their negativity but don't own up to it. Since I don't know your identity I can only answer based on assumptions. For one, we wouldn't need to spend any tax dollars except for video tapes. All the equipment needed to video tape board meetings (as well as training sessions and school events) is already owned and used in most of our high schools. It would just be a matter of taping the events and broadcasting them on the channel we have already been given by Comcast. That would be a start. It would then cost approximately $52,000 if later we wanted to implement a live feed. I personally think it is pretty pathetic when I can turn the television on and wath the Town of LaPlata or the Town of Indian Head have their meetings yet and entity as big as CCPS cannot. Why, I ask? In my opinion, and let me stress MY OPINION, they do not want the public to know what is going on. Secoondly, on your comment regarding my attire, I doubt seriously if you have attended any of our Board meetings since very few people do because of the time (which I voted against!) I am insulted by your sexist statement that is completely untrue. I am led to believe you must be a member of the EACC. Why not reveal yourself?

Anonymous said...

Ms. Abell,

Doodydom obviously feels threatened by your intelligence. Otherwise he/she/it would not resort to stooping so low as imply you dress provocatively for board meetings. I've only briefly attended one meeting two years back and your attire was more than appropriate. (A yellow floral dress with a jacket if I recall correctly, but I could have you confused with one of the other two ladies that were there.) Perhaps doodydom would be interested in lending you a black burqa from one of the other women in his Taliban? At first I couldn't believe you even replied to that moronic post, but once again in true Jennifer Abell style you came out on top with more insightful information for the rest of us to digest. You took a stupid question and used it as an opportunity to inform the public. Kudos to you. You're a woman I thought I despised and had nothing in common with... until recently. Thanks for setting the record straight. And please keep working on televising those meetings. Even if it does cost $50,000 it is worth it.

doodydom said...

Dear anonymous,
You choose to make flagrantly biased allegations based on nothing more than a prejudicial approach to life. Ms. Abell has stated she promotes diversity, and I am surprised she would allow such discriminatory remarks on her blog. If my questions offend, then your lack of knowledge precedes you. "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." Arthur Schopenhauer (German Philosopher)

Jennifer Abell said...

Doodydom,
Love your quote. I have a collection myself and will add this one to it.
As for allowing the comments on my sight, I do believe in freedom of speech, with the exception of vulgarity. I do believe you initiated the downward spiral of this thread with your remarks about my clothing that you have yet to substantiate.
And a note to all, for the sake of our students, lets try to keep this clean from here on out. Thank you!

Heather said...

I heard that NorthPoint, who has all of the equipment would do the taping - but as you said Jennifer, I suppose between all of the schools we've got the equipment.

Even if every parent wanted to attend the board meetings - we can't - some work, some work two jobs, some don't have transportation - televising the board meetings is a matter of access to the public - the TAX PAYERS so we can know what is going on. Let's say for one second every parent, or even HALF of the parents could attend the BOE meetings - we wouldn't all fit! Televising is LONG overdue.