|The Pottstown School Board is ditching committees ... maybe|
Note: Valerie Harris, lower right, is no longer a member
of the school board. She was replaced in June by Amy Francis.
(I wrote about that query in August.)
Everyone said yes.
But Thursday night, Zahora raised the issue again and is now advocating an experiment in which committees would no longer meet.
Except when they do.
Join the club.
|Working 14-hour days takes its toll|
on the executive team, Zahora said.
"It's too much physically, you can't sustain that pace," Zahora told the school board.
"I would like to reduce the burden on the executive team and all the time they are putting in," Zahora said.
At the same time, Zahora said, she is concerned that not enough of the board's business is getting done because of poor attendance at committee meetings.
"It's a lot to expect of everyone," she said of the committee and regular meeting schedule. "We can see it isn't working beautifully," said said Amy Francis, who was appointed to the board in June.
"It's hard to get to committee meetings, my schedule is crazy," she said.
(The level of difficulty her schedule imposes is evident from Francis' consistent tardiness at regular board meetings.)
Zahora said she is considering "pulling back on the committee system" and trying to conduct all board business "in just two long meetings."
|Pottstown School Board meetings may be getting even longer!|
"If it's done right, it can be successful," Francis said.
"We're tying to encourage the public to come to meetings," said board member Polly Weand. "But they can't come to 10 different committee meetings."
Board member Andrew Kefer noted that many board meetings already see lengthy discussions. (The one at which this discussion occurred lasted until 11 p.m.)
Board member Mary-Beth Bacallao said some meeting agendas may have to be scaled back as a result.
"Sometimes we'll have to make it clear we just don't have the bandwidth to deal with it," Bacallao said.
|Judy Zahora believes, rightly, that the Pottstown School Board|
has a lot of balls in the air right now.
So the board agreed to give it a try.
All committee meetings are currently suspended, as was announced on the district web site.
(What this will do to the board initiative to investigate having members of the public sit on board committees remains unclear.)
And, in order to accommodate the potential for longer school board meetings, the start time has been moved back to 7 p.m.
"We'll also have to limit the time we talk and not have so many presentations," Zahora said.
Sounds like a great way to spend an evening right? Join me at the board meeting Oct. 18 at Pottstown Middle School (side entrance) and get a look at how your tax money gets spent.
See you there.