Letter: Critical of School BoardThe Hudson Board of Education has given the public the two-minute warning. Actually, it’s the bum rush. In each of the last three weeks, the School Board held a “special meeting.” Yes, that’s right, three special meetings in three weeks.
By: Bob Muchlinski, Hudson, Hudson Star-Observer
The Hudson Board of Education has given the public the two-minute warning. Actually, it’s the bum rush.
In each of the last three weeks, the School Board held a “special meeting.” Yes, that’s right, three special meetings in three weeks. And citizens were not allowed to utter a single word to the board at those meetings. Apparently, the board members could not tolerate hearing anything from their constituents.
Then, this week, the School Board begrudgingly allowed its lowly subjects the right to speak at a “listening session” about the district’s unbalanced budget. The catch? Speakers get two minutes. You got anything to say to the board about the budget? Fine. You got two minutes. Go! Hurry up! Seconds are ticking! Bzzzzzz. Too late.
This is the School Board that always says: “We want input from the community.” These are the same people who tell us: “We listen to the taxpayers.” What a joke.
I once addressed the School Board when they were seated in a circle. To my surprise, they did not move as I talked. Half the group kept their backs to me. The faces of the other half remained blocked by those people keeping their backs to me. As I looked up at them seated on their stage, I couldn’t see a single face. And they saw no reason to look at the citizen who was talking to them!
Can you imagine getting this shoddy treatment from any other public body around here? Would the Hudson City Council impose a two-minute time limit at a public hearing, or turn their backs on the speakers? No. In my experience the City Council members take time to hear the public’s concerns. The Hudson School Board is another matter.
Not only does the School Board not care to listen, they don’t care to believe their constituents either. I’ve provided critical comments to the board a number of times. Never once have I heard the response: “That’s interesting. We’ll consider your comments.”
Instead, I always hear: “You’re wrong. And here is why you are wrong…” And I’m not the only one. That’s the same response the board gives to all critical speakers.
Is it possible the board is right and the citizens are wrong 100 percent of the time? Or is it more likely the board does not want to hear constructive criticism? They certainly don’t want to believe it.