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In this weeks edition:

As it turned out my criticism of the Board of Education was probably somewhat unjust. We did additional research after last week’s paper went to press and found an Ethics Commission opinion that came out in 2007 that said if a governing body sent out notification during regular business hours it counted as a full days’ notice. My initial research only covered a ten-year period, so I didn’t find this ruling prior to writing last week’s column.
When the Superintendent of Schools had her administrative assistant call my office on Monday and ask if I could meet with her on Tuesday, I knew what it was about. I had an engagement Tuesday but scheduled a Wednesday meeting.
The meeting was very pleasant. Ms. Hypes showed me what she had found. We discussed the matter at length. I told her I didn’t feel that 10 minutes before the close of business meet the intent of the Open Meetings Law. In fact, since I sat on a statewide committee that made the last revisions in that law, I was quite sure that was not what legislative leaders fely was adequate notice to the public. However, the Ethic Commission has the last word and I guess they had to draw the line somewhere, so we will have to live with it. The Board did not violate the law as it is interpreted by the Ethic Commission in posting their agenda of that Special Meeting. I stand corrected.
During our conversation, I told the Superintendent that I felt the public needed more of a notice than 10 minutes and she agreed. She admitted that the actual release of the agenda could be done at an earlier time, most of the time, which would allow for more notice and said she would make a concerted effort to make that happen. Other than a little egg on my face, I left the meeting feeling pretty good about the outcome.
As I told the Superintendent, I am very passionate about the public’s right to know. I also know that with most public bodies that responsibility is not as high on their priority list as I think it should be. I am certainly willing to take Ms. Hypes at her word and hope the situation improves.
On a more positive note… I want to congratulate Coach Sterling Beane and his grapplers for a fine showing at the State Tournament. To have 6 out of 8 wrestlers place is very respectable. But that is nothing new for Coach Beane and his crew. The BCHS wrestlers are by far the winningest group of athletes in school history. Coach Beane’s teams always do well and they do it in a respectful manner that brings honor to him, the athletes and most of all our community. Good job coaches and wrestlers.

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