May 26th, 2024

Letter: Too much time spent behind closed doors at public school board meetings

By Letter to the Editor on April 23, 2024.

Dear editor,

What is the point of local government bodies establishing policies for their conduct when they do not even abide by their own policies? Case in point, the Medicine Hat Public School Board’s policy pertaining to “Meetings of the Committee of the Whole.”

Meetings of “Committee of the Whole” are conducted behind closed doors, out of public view. MHPSD’s policy states the Board’s belief that this type of meeting may be needed “from time to time,” on “occasion,” meaning for special events.

Well, MHPSD must have an awful lot of special happenings because a review of board minutes reveals there are these “Committee of the Whole” meetings on a “regular” basis, at least twice monthly. Not only that, but the time spent by the board behind closed doors far exceeds time spent in public view.

At the very least MHPSD needs to revise the policy governing its “Regular Board Meetings” to state that they will be held “from time to time,” as “Committee of the Whole” meetings are now more “regular” than meetings open to the public.

So much for the “preservation of public trust” the board proclaims in its policy for “regular” meetings.

Michael Seitz

Medicine Hat

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