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The Ketchikan School Board has decided not to hold a second business meeting this month. That’s the board’s choice, and probably welcome news to busy members and staff at a time that will be in the thick of the holidays, between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Members decided, instead, to gather in a goal-setting work session. Again, that’s the board’s call.
The board decided to hold that Nov. 28 work session at the Ketchikan High School library, away from the cameras that broadcast the board’s regular meetings.
It would be a poor choice for any public body, but it’s especially nettling for a group whose members have been vocal in their wistful longing for public participation in their process.
The School Board already has Borough Assembly chambers in the White Cliff building reserved for Nov. 28. The cameras are there, at the ready. The public reasonably expects the board to meet there, and to have its meetings telecast, on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Use of the chambers is free to the School Board, which operates under the auspices of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough. If the School Board is meeting on its regular meeting days (and, come to think of it, whenever possible), it ought to meet where the most members of the public conveniently can see and hear what it’s doing and saying.
No down side to meeting in Assembly chambers, even for a work session. No up side for the public if the board hides out at the Kayhi library instead. Whatever the topic, if School Board members are talking about it together, the public has a legitimate interest. The public certainly has an interest in its own School Board’s goals. Don’t make them run up to Kayhi to find out what’s going on.
The School Board ought to move that work session back to the Assembly chambers. It’s an easy switch. What’s the down side of letting the public see what’s going on?