Why does Richland 2 require those wishing to speak during Public Participation to sign up not later than 15 minutes before the re-convening of the Regular meeting?
Is this just a case of "Because we said so"?
Tuesday's meeting starts at 4:30PM, and the board will quickly enter Executive Session (for food, beverages, and some confidential business). Watch when they come out of Executive Session. Some of them will be carrying extra meals to take home, if past meetings are any indication of what will happen this Tuesday.
There are two Public Participation segments during Regular Board Meetings. One 15-minute segment is held early in the meeting, and the second is held late in the meeting, AFTER the board has conducted its business and voted on agenda items.
HOWEVER, you must sign up to speak before 5:45PM. And you don't get a choice about speaking at the first or second segment.
Speakers get three minutes to sound off, so only five will speak at the first segment. If you are Number 6 to sign up, and each of the others takes his full three minutes, then you get to cool your heels until nearly the end of the meeting. If you wanted to comment on an item the board will consider and vote on, Tough Luck!
Why doesn't the board hold a 30-minute segment and give the public an opportunity to speak up before they take care of business?
What if a "Loudoun County" Night occurred and 200 people showed up to bark at the board about Critical Race Theory (or Richland 2's version, Culturally Relevant Theory (or Pedagogy))?
Would the board listen? Not likely. Instead, RCSD deputies would get a work-out, because they will be instructed to remove many members of the public.
Even though the State of South Carolina has removed COVIC-19 restrictions, the Richland 2 board continues to restrict attendance at board meetings to 30 members of the public. It is past time to open the public meetings to larger attendance.