Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Responsible Public Body Listens to Public

The Richland 2 School Board suspended its Public Participation policy on March 31. The suspension is supposed to be "temporary", only until the end of April.

The school board is a public body. South Carolina law requires meetings to be open. That does not mean just making them available by audio-streaming.

By hiding behind the coronavirus threat, the board kept the public from knowing it did not have a quorum at its March 31st meeting until right at the end of the meeting.

At this point it is unclear whether the school board means that the public will be excluded from open meetings or just prohibited from speaking at them.

Here is how a public body in northern Illinois solved this problem.

The McHenry County (Ill.) Board of Health will hold a special, virtual board meeting on April 9, 2020, at 7:00PM. That board invites public comments before 5:00PM on the date of the meeting and provides an email address for them. Presumably, public comments will be read at the meeting.

Thanks to McHenry County Blog (Crystal Lake, Ill.) for informing the public of that important announcement.