GRISD is recording meetings again and has been for a few monthsSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


GRISD is recording meetings again and has been for a few months

19 January 2009 at 10:16:52 PM

We went to the school board meeting tonight and were going to ask specifically about why the meetings had stopped being recorded and found out from Wayne Rotan that the attorney told them to go back and start recording them again because they were being recorded anyway.

You may recall thatI had wanted to get audio of the school board meeting in August and was told that, upon advice of attorney, the January meeting of 2008 was the last to be recorded. I was pretty surprised and wrote about it at the time, and we made sure to go to all the meetings after that with our video camera in order to take up the slack. I wrote about the September meeting and how we were recording it, and the attorney apparently recognized how illogical it was to not record them themselves. We believe it was due to our bringing the camera to the meeting and recording it since it wasn't being done otherwise and are happy to find out this result.

So, this is good. Any citizen will be able to request an audio of the school board meeting. Say you had a kid who spoke at a meeting-you can get an audio recording or him or her. But it's not only for vanity but because people should really take an interest in how their taxes are being spent and the decisions made by the board. I've really enjoyed the energy and enthusiam of the teachers and principals who present, and have learned a lot about GRISD.

In the next couple of days I'll put up the audio and some video clips of bits of this meeting. Tomorrow I plan, just like the students at the schools here, to watch the inauguration! Kudos to Doug M!

P.S. Have to say something that has been bothering me since last night and I have clarified in my own mind why. The board meetings are theoretically run by the elected board officials. Seems like any decision about whether to stop recording ought to have been brought up AT a board meeting, discussed before the public at a board meeting, and then voted on by the board. Rotan, NOT being a member of the school board, could have said that the attorney recommended that the meetings stop being recorded, but the action was not in his arena. Then, we continued to record meetings and pointed out, here, that when a citizen can record a meeting via the Texas Open Meetings Act, it's off the mark for the attorney to tell the board not to record them and makes it look like the board has something to hide. When the attorney decided THAT, he again apparently told Rotan; the board did not discuss this change of recording, did not take action as a group, with a vote, etc. To me, informal decisions that involve the public's right to know are not appropriate when taken by officials who are not board members, and the board was properly the venue to take ANY of these types of actions, with full responsibility and full daylight, where the public could hear and be informed.

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