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Re: Before I leave

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  • c_travlos
    For the general public, this is where the power is. We have no authority over staff but we elect the board. That s a pretty powerful thing. The public comment
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 12, 2008
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      For the general public, this is where the power is. We have no
      authority over staff but we elect the board. That's a pretty powerful
      thing. The public comment section is usually pretty interesting and
      often productive for the people who bring issues. It was unfortunate
      Ms. Miles somehow skipped it and the 35 speakers who'd signed up for
      item D3 didn't get a chance to speak. When I left at 12:45am there had
      still been no public comment.
      Cathy

      --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "rogerf85" <rogerf85@...> wrote:
      >
      > Before I leave (back on March 1, 2009), I thought I'd also share the
      following thought:
      >
      > We all know that board meetings are designed to establish policies,
      agendas and the like
      > as well as to establish the budgets (funds needed and identified
      funding sources) for
      > those.
      >
      > What has attracted me is the "Public Comments" period.
      > Isn't it ridiculous that people actually make time to be there and
      ask questions and get no
      > answers from the leaders?
      >
      > Of course, some public comments do not require an answer, e.g. a
      person coming up to
      > the microphone to justify/ describe-why the plea not to close a
      school, or just a sharing
      > of information.
      >
      > But when someone gets up there to the podium+microphone to ask a
      question that s/he
      > thinks the board knows about, the reply is something like, "OK,
      heard you. Dr. Harter,
      > please look into this and get back to us."
      >
      > =======================
      >
      > The "Public Comments" allocated time may be under-estimated, ... ?
      >
      > ========================
      >
    • Charley Cowens
      Sometimes Public Comment runs briefly in its slot and then any spillover gets put near the end. There was Public Comment later. I was there. I don t know if
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 13, 2008
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        Sometimes Public Comment runs briefly in its slot and then any
        spillover gets put near the end. There was Public Comment later. I was
        there. I don't know if there had been an initial comment period. I was
        one of the people stuck in the gym for the first half, so I found it
        very difficult to follow anything.

        Charley Cowens

        On Fri, Dec 12, 2008 at 9:11 AM, c_travlos <cbt@...> wrote:
        > For the general public, this is where the power is. We have no
        > authority over staff but we elect the board. That's a pretty powerful
        > thing. The public comment section is usually pretty interesting and
        > often productive for the people who bring issues. It was unfortunate
        > Ms. Miles somehow skipped it and the 35 speakers who'd signed up for
        > item D3 didn't get a chance to speak. When I left at 12:45am there had
        > still been no public comment.
        > Cathy
        >
        > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "rogerf85" <rogerf85@...> wrote:
        >>
        >> Before I leave (back on March 1, 2009), I thought I'd also share the
        > following thought:
        >>
        >> We all know that board meetings are designed to establish policies,
        > agendas and the like
        >> as well as to establish the budgets (funds needed and identified
        > funding sources) for
        >> those.
        >>
        >> What has attracted me is the "Public Comments" period.
        >> Isn't it ridiculous that people actually make time to be there and
        > ask questions and get no
        >> answers from the leaders?
        >>
        >> Of course, some public comments do not require an answer, e.g. a
        > person coming up to
        >> the microphone to justify/ describe-why the plea not to close a
        > school, or just a sharing
        >> of information.
        >>
        >> But when someone gets up there to the podium+microphone to ask a
        > question that s/he
        >> thinks the board knows about, the reply is something like, "OK,
        > heard you. Dr. Harter,
        >> please look into this and get back to us."
        >>
        >> =======================
        >>
        >> The "Public Comments" allocated time may be under-estimated, ... ?
        >>
        >> ========================
        >>
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >



        --
        Charley Cowens
        wccusd.blogspot.com
      • Charley Cowens
        Here s the Brown Act section about responding to public comment: 54954.2. (a) At least 72 hours ... meeting. No action or discussion shall be undertaken on any
        Message 3 of 4 , Dec 13, 2008
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          Here's the Brown Act section about responding to public comment:

          54954.2. (a) At least 72 hours ... meeting.
          No action or discussion shall be undertaken on any item not appearing
          on the posted agenda, except that members of a legislative body or its
          staff may briefly respond to statements made or questions posed by
          persons exercising their public testimony rights under Section
          54954.3. In addition, on their own initiative or in response to
          questions posed by the public, a member of a legislative body or its
          staff may ask a question for clarification, make a brief announcement,
          or make a brief report on his or her own activities. Furthermore, a
          member of a legislative body, or the body itself, subject to rules or
          procedures of the legislative body, may provide a reference to staff
          or other resources for factual information, request staff to report
          back to the body at a subsequent meeting concerning any matter, or
          take action to direct staff to place a matter of business on a future
          agenda.

          From my reading of this Board members should not be answering any
          questions or discussing issues posed in public comment either in the
          public comment or in the (in practice very unbrief) board reports
          section. You have to realize that in a sense this increases the power
          of the public comment, because you get the last word unless another
          public commenter responds to you. Unfortunately, when Board members
          violate this (and I've seen this "correction of lies" or "you're a
          sadly misinformed bunch of idiots" thing before), a member of the
          public can't raise a point of order in the meeting.

          Charley Cowens

          On Thu, Dec 11, 2008 at 6:18 PM, rogerf85 <rogerf85@...> wrote:
          > Before I leave (back on March 1, 2009), I thought I'd also share the following thought:
          >
          > We all know that board meetings are designed to establish policies, agendas and the like
          > as well as to establish the budgets (funds needed and identified funding sources) for
          > those.
          >
          > What has attracted me is the "Public Comments" period.
          > Isn't it ridiculous that people actually make time to be there and ask questions and get no
          > answers from the leaders?
          >
          > Of course, some public comments do not require an answer, e.g. a person coming up to
          > the microphone to justify/ describe-why the plea not to close a school, or just a sharing
          > of information.
          >
          > But when someone gets up there to the podium+microphone to ask a question that s/he
          > thinks the board knows about, the reply is something like, "OK, heard you. Dr. Harter,
          > please look into this and get back to us."
          >
          > =======================
          >
          > The "Public Comments" allocated time may be under-estimated, ... ?
          >
          > ========================
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >



          --
          Charley Cowens
          wccusd.blogspot.com
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