In preparation for Monday night’s Manchester Board of School Committee (BOSC) meeting, BOSC members have been discussing the proposed modifications and amendments to their governing rules through a spreadsheet online. In addition to the spreadsheet, there are several emails that have been sent to every member of the board, making them public documents under RSA 91-A, the state’s Right to Know law. An email with these documents was sent out to the BOSC on Friday afternoon.
Girard at Large has requested these documents in addition to the spreadsheet, and all of the documents have been released here for the convenience of the public.
Click on the respective links to read the proposed rule modifications and amendments from Vice Chair Arthur Beaudry (Ward 9), to read board members’ comments on Beaudry’s proposed BOSC rule changes, and to read the rule changes suggested by Sarah Ambrogi (Ward 1) and Connie Van Houten (Ward 12). Additional responses will be released as notified.
Committee member Connie Van Houten (Ward 12) preferred to send her response to the board via a narrative email, the relevant parts of which are quoted below.
“Please accept my narrative response to the proposed rules changes document which Committeeman Beaudry directed our clerk to generate and send out as it appears that my opportunity to provide my preference on rules changes is missing some options…
Although I do not believe that the format of the old rules was accepted by a majority vote of the Board, the following is my vote on proposed rule changes within the format of the 2014 rules document:
- I vote NO on all changes proposed by Mr. Beaudry, preferring to retain the 2014 rules with the two amendments, both from the Ambrogi/Van Houten proposal, below.
- AMENDMENT: I vote YES on amending the 2014 rules to add the duty of agenda preparation to the duties of the vice chair and the clerk. (Chair, vice chair, superintendent, and clerk would, therefore, all meet and participate in agenda preparation.
- AMENDMENT: I vote YES on amending the 2014 rules to include the following:
Both regular and special monthly meetings shall be called to order at 7:00 p.m. At 9:00 p.m. the clerk shall announce that one hour remains in the meeting time. The meeting shall terminate at 10:00 p.m., whether or not the agenda items have been completed, unless a majority of the members present agrees to continue the meeting.
I hope to be able to address this amendment proposal at our next meeting in that it is not really about time per se. In the last term, I attended 100% of all of my BOSC meetings on seven committees and participated in many hours of negotiations and in every student conduct hearing during my tenure – certainly more total time in meetings than any other Board member, and proofread the Course of Study, conducted research on hiring practices that ultimately led to a new trial of our practices, participated in regular meetings at Parkside and West, met with constituents in a ward meeting and more. I have willingly given time to the District and will continue to do so. This amendment proposal, however, is primarily about more efficient use of Board meeting time. Most issues that come to the Board as new business, for instance, should probably be referred to committee and/or the administration and vetted, not publically debated or presented for a vote by Board members who may have just heard about the issues…”
After reviewing board member comments, it appears that there are quite a few conflicting opinions on the rule changes; no proposed rule change has been unanimously agreed upon. The BOSC will discuss rule changes and amendments, among many other agenda items, at their 7:00 PM meeting on Monday, January 11 in Manchester’s City Hall. Look for the live blog of the meeting on Monday night or the recap of events on Tuesday morning. Board members and public attendees might be in for a long night unless, of course, the board accepts a new rule that would limit meetings to three hours; this meeting, and all proceeding meetings would conclude at 10:00 PM.