School board adopts new policy in regard to public comment

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— The Steamboat Springs School Board also adopted a new governance process into the school board policy clarifying the role of public comments and amending the proposed policy.

The policy states public comments not on the board's agenda will take place during the allotted time for public comments. The board will not take any action to accept the matter at a later date. Those speaking during public comments must identify themselves, speak for no more than three minutes and time will be limited to 20 minutes for a particular topic.

Members of the public who would like to add an item to the agenda for a board meeting shall do so the Wednesday before the meeting.

However, the issue must be taken through a course of action through directors or administrators, the superintendent and so on.

The amendment, addressed by Tom Sharp, added, "The board president or majority of the board may at any time waive all or any part of the prerequisites of 4a or 4b above."

The last item of the new policy states that public comment time in the agenda cannot concern an individual employee of the school district. If a person would like to address the board concerning an employee, he or she shall do so in an executive session determined by the superintendent.

Board Secretary Paula Stephenson and Superintendent Cyndy Simms worked with the language and criteria of the new policy.

"I think Paula's done a great job in pulling this together," Sharp said.

Instead of tabling the item to investigate further into new language that would protect the board for setting a strict criteria, Sharp and the others created the language to adopt the policy at Monday night's school board meeting.

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