The new chair of the Arlington School Board has nixed the public comment section of board meetings for the remainder of the summer.
The Sun Gazette reported this week that Reid Goldstein is doing away with public comment until September to speed up meetings.
“We are not taking public comment during the summer meetings,” Goldstein said, so the School Board could “focus on conducting the necessary business promptly.”
Public comment will return Sept. 8, said Goldstein, who rotated in for a one-year stint at chairman on July 1.
A number of people have contacted ARLnow about the report, apparently upset at Goldstein’s decision, though the move is temporary and those who wish to provide feedback to the School Board in the meantime can still do so via email and other means.
Both the Arlington County Board and the School Board provide a designated time for members of the public to opine on topics of their choosing. The process can sometimes take upwards of an hour depending on the number of speakers.
The County Board also made Sun Gazette headlines over the past couple of months, as chair Katie Cristol tried to enforce a longstanding rule against multiple speakers weighing in on the same topic, then relented.
After getting pilloried a month before for what critics called a heavy-handed approach to enforcing rules on public comment, County Board Chairman Katie Cristol on July 16 loosened her grip on the gavel just a bit.
Cristol acknowledged that she was being a little more loose in her interpretation of rules for the July board meeting than she had been in June, when she shut down comment on the government’s Missing Middle housing proposal after just two speakers at the public-comment period.
County Board rules for the public-comment period allow for only one speaker per topic on items not scheduled for public hearings (which have their own comment periods later in the meeting). Board members over time have allowed, on topics of controversy, for one speaker on each side of the issue.
Today we’re wondering what the general public thinks of public comments periods at School Board and County Board meetings.
Are you okay with restrictions like this or would you like a more open forum? Alternatively, would you advocate for nixing public comment altogether or moving it to its own dedicated meeting, when agenda items are not being voted on?
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“Probing the highly imaginative, inspired mind of Teresa Oaxaca is not altogether unlike having a present-day conversation with an Old Master,” says Nashville Arts Magazine.
Here is an unusual opportunity to learn from this incredibly talented and accessible artist, at Art House 7’s two-day oil painting workshop in October. Teresa will give 2 portrait painting demonstrations for 3 hours each morning. Students will then be painting from a clothed live model. Teresa will offer individual critiques that focus on materials, techniques, process and artistic vision. You’ll get jazzed up about painting and become more confident about your abilities.
Art House 7, Two-Day Oil Painting Workshop with Teresa Oaxaca. Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. EDT $250.
See more about Teresa Oaxaca here. Art House 7 5537 Langston Blvd., Arlington, Va. 22207
Validating one’s emotions has the power to heal, transform, and empower. What Is Validation? Every human being has feelings. We all have emotions that change over time, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. The question isn’t whether we feel; it’s how we handle feelings once they arise.
Building strategies to understand emotions is essential to positive mental health, and validation is one effective skill to practice.
Emotional validation is the process of understanding, embracing, and actively listening to another person’s feelings (or your own).
Understanding someone’s emotions doesn’t necessarily mean you approve of how they are feeling or reacting to something. You can be supportive in acknowledging and validating an emotional experience without agreeing or diminishing it. Validation is a skill to learn and improve over time. It may take practice, but the effort is most certainly worth it. Emotional validation has the power to enhance interpersonal communication and foster strong relationships.
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