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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Synetic Theater Camps are a wildly fun, highly accessible choice for young people who love moving, playing games, and making memories. Registration is open now for Summer Camps (sessions June 20-August 25) and there are even a few spots left for Spring Break camp, April 3-7.
Located in National Landing, these performance-based camps are designed for students of all ages – no theater or performance experience required.
Led by professional teaching artists, campers learn acting, movement, and technical theater skills through the lens of Physical Theater. Physical Theater incorporates acting, movement, dance, mime, and acrobatics. If you’ve seen a Cirque du Soleil performance, you’ll find many similarities.
Most first-time campers are new to the performing arts, and teaching artists are well-versed in engaging students at all levels. Parents and campers report that one of the best parts of Synetic is the community, with many families returning year after year because they feel a strong sense of belonging.
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WHS Spring Festival
Join us at the WHS Spring Festival on April 22, 2023, from 10am- 3pm at Wakefield High School(main parking lot). Come out to shop, play, and eat!
Shop local vendors, arts & crafts, new and used items, food vendors/trucks, and
District 27 Toastmasters 2023 Virtual Conference
District 27 Toastmasters invites you to its annual conference where you can hear phenomenal speakers, attend professional development and personal growth seminars about leadership, negotiation, communication, teamwork, and mentorship. Learn how to develop your personal story and how to improve