2012-02-16 / Local News

Depew plans meeting on policy changes

by COLLEEN M. FARRELL
Lancaster-Depew Editor

The Depew Board of Education subcommittee in charge of examining the district’s public forum policy will meet this week.

Committee members John Spencer, board president; members Diane Benczkowski and Nancy Fumerelle; and Superintendent Jeffrey Rabey will meet at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, in the boardroom at 591 Terrace Blvd., Depew.

At the group’s first meeting on Jan. 31, the members discussed how other school districts’ policies handle public participation during board meetings.

The Depew policy has been criticized by some members of the public and the board as being restrictive.

As it stands now, the policy says “district residents” who want to speak on non-agenda items “shall submit their request in writing” to the district clerk by 1 p.m. one business day prior to the meeting. Residents “will be asked to provide their name, address and telephone number; the topic of their comments; and a brief explanation or narrative. District residents who wish to address the board on an agenda item for that particular board meeting do not need to notify the district clerk in advance of the meeting.”

The committee is looking at doing away with the requirement for speakers to state their addresses as well as considering if speakers should be required to notify the district about the topics they plan to address, and what form that notification would take. For example, members of the public who want to address the board could be asked to fill out notecards about their topic before the meeting.

The suggestions will be presented to the full board either at its Feb. 28 or March 20 meeting. Any policy changes must be approved by a majority.

The next regular Board of Education meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28.

email: cfarrell@beenews.com

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