On its traditional 3-2 vote, the board recently decided to remain mired in the past, ignoring the world wide trend of technology advancing meetings via video- and tele-conferencing. Members may no longer use technology to attend meetings--now it's "asses in the seats" or not attending at all.
Yet "special meetings" continue to be held, even when they don't seem necessary. Last week the board "met" for 5 minutes to handle routine personnel issues and attend a reception at Bethlehem school for its new principal.
School board members, city council members, state legislators, and many other public officials attend receptions and other "celebratory" events all the time--without calling a formal meeting (for which, the school board members get paid $160 each). It's just part of the privilege of serving.
And the personnel matters attended to could have been handled at the meeting held less than a week before, or at the next meeting scheduled less than a week later.
And the trend apparently will continue.
The board next meets for a regular meeting on Aug. 10, but board President Shane Mallett said two special meetings probably will be called before then to approve hirings as the start of the school year gets closer. A total of 28 professional positions are open in the school district, as well as 26 service positions.
Board members receive $160 for each meeting they attend, including special meetings.(Intelligencer 07-28-15)
Board members are not administrators. They should be setting policy, approving personnel issues. They don't need to be micro-managing--or micro-meeting. At $160 for each of the members at each meeting, it costs taxpayers $800 every time they get together. In the grand scheme it's not a lot of money, but it leaves a bad taste.
Regular meetings of the Ohio County board are scheduled twice a month. Board leadership should work aggressively to get business done then and stop these "special" meetings. With a calendar, and coordination with the administration, school board leadership could--and should--get its work done efficiently and at regular meetings.