By Eric Grosso
BROOKFIELD — School board members are looking to revise board policies that could give residents more access to speaking at meetings and would eliminate many of the board’s subcommittees.
Board President Tim Filipovich led a discussion this week on potential changes that would make it easier for residents to speak at meetings. The current policy does allow residents to speak at the start of the meeting but only if they have notified the school office five days in advance.
He said that having potential speakers sign in right before the meeting would be easier than having speakers send in requests through the school office. “This policy we have right now is just a little too stringent,” Filipovich said.
Board member Kelly Bianco was in favor of having residents sign in before the meeting but mentioned having the topics limited to agenda items only. This would enable residents to speak on agenda items before they are voted on, she said.
A few months ago, Filipovich and Bianco raised concern that residents didn’t have a proper way to voice their concerns before the board voted on agenda items. The board currently allows public comments at the end of the meeting on any topic, limiting speakers to five minutes.
Filipovich said a revised policy is expected to be introduced at the next board meeting.
In other action, Filipovich suggested having representatives speak for issues within the district rather than board subcommittees.
He said recent discussions with the Ohio Department of Education have suggested that having meetings with board subcommittees in which more than one board member is present have to be treated like a regular meeting.
In order to not violate Ohio Sunshine Laws, the subcommittee meeting would have to be printed in local newspapers, the public would be permitted to attend, and the subcommittee must have an agenda. The district has nine subcommittees.
Filipovich said having representatives for the topics who report back to the board would be a more efficient and easier way than having subcommittees.
Filipovich and Superintendent Steve Stohla could eliminate some or all the subcommittees by the next board meeting.