ECS BOE approves new public participation policy

By Kelsey Kimbler -

EATON — The Eaton Community Schools Board of Education approved a policy change dealing with public participation during its December board meeting.

Prior to the change, anyone in attendance at the meeting could speak during public participation. Now, any person or group wishing to speak during public participation must submit a written request 72 hours prior to the meeting.

The policy now states, “Any person or group wishing to place an item on the agenda shall register their intent with the Superintendent no later than 72 hours prior to the meeting and include: name and address of the participant, group affiliation if appropriate, and topic to be addressed.”

Any questions or interest regarding the new policy can be directed via email to Superintendent Jeff Parker. Written requests can be dropped off to the Board of Education Office and appropriate staff will follow up.

“The other districts I’ve been associated with, that has been the policy. My experience has been, in talking to those that have been on both sides of it, it actually improves communication. People then have to — if they are upset about something — they have to have at least communicated with whmoever the concern was with,” Superintendent Parker said.

“Sometimes, in situations when you don’t have the 72 hours, people just show up and they haven’t gone through and tried to work out the issue. It really improves that you at least tried to work out the issue prior to them coming to the board meeting. Everybody still gets their opportunity, it is just one additional piece they have to follow.

“If they make a request, and they haven’t communicated or talked to anyone about their concerns, we will redirect them through the proper channels to try to work it out.”

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH