An Important Note about Notices of Motion and Requests for Information
It is important for the public to know that when a trustee makes a Notice of Motion at the end of a public meeting or requests information from the administration, these go to an “Agenda Setting Committee”. This committee is comprised of the Chair, Vice Chair, Superintendent and Board Secretary. This committee decides whether the item is of value or not to the rest of the Board and if it is, then it gets on the public board agenda. If they deem it is not of value, it will not be placed on the agenda. I have a concern with regards to this committee because 50% of the membership is held by people who are not elected — namely the superintendent and the board secretary. I believe that all of the trustees should have a vote on what makes it on to their agenda for their meeting. Certainly, we should consult with the administration whether they believe the item could be addressed in another manner but the final say of what goes on to the agenda should be made by the trustees who are elected by the public to represent their views. Please be assured that I will be raising this issue as we revise our Board policies in the upcoming months.
Update as of October 21, 2014: Our new Chair Debbie Engel has suggested that if a notice of motion does not make it through the agenda setting committee, we can bring the motion to the next public board meeting and add it to the agenda. At this time, the whole board and public can hear the rationale of why the trustee wishes to bring this motion forward. All trustees can then vote on whether they wish to discuss the matter further at the current or future public board meeting. I welcome this suggestion by Chair Engel!