Keyport Board of Ed might limit public participation

The APP posted its “Friday Letters to the Press” on March 21.

One of them was from Keyport school board candidate Sheila Bishop.

It reads:

Keyport needs public comment

“Keyport Board of Education’s proposal to impose time rules does more than simply limit public comment. It eliminates the public’s ability to fully participate in the school district. (“Board mulls comment limit,” March 6.)

Just because 80 to 90 percent of other school boards might have a similar policy doesn’t mean it is right or appropriate for our board to impose. The nature of the public comment is that an issue is fleshed out and details emerge. Any thinking person can quickly absorb the new information and respond to those changes as needed. A 30-minute time limit for all public comment makes it seem the board is politely putting up with the rest of us for the sake of appearances and legality.

Board member Ed McNamara complained that board history has shown comments can become repetitive. If a particular issue draws a number of people responding similarly, perhaps it is an issue on which the public already is forming a consensus. I can think of only one such issue in recent years. It may be repetitive to hear more than one person make a similar point, but the board should remember it is just a small subset of our community and the board is elected by the community to serve our best interests.

I am running for the Keyport Board of Education. I chose to run partly because of a sense of civic duty. It’s time others in the community step up to the challenge at hand. Play your part in making Keyport public schools the school of choice for your child. Get out and vote in the April school board elections.”

Sheila Bishop

To view these comments as posted by the APP, click on the headline.

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Filed under Keyport, Keyport Board of Education, Sheila Bishop

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