So, what's going to happen with the Hamilton School Board election challenge?
Doyle Houser will get seated?
The board will get to choose who will fill the at-large slot and will take applications from the public?
The board will get to choose who will fill the at-large slot and will bring back Gary Presley?
None of the above?
Re: School board
Members of the Hamilton school board are good people who sometimes seem to be following bad advice.
They should scrap their policy that restricts people from speaking at school board meetings. The rule says people can speak only about items that are on the agenda.
The board should replace that rule with a time limit for comments and more specific rules ó for instance, forbidding discussion of individual school employees.
The current policy keeps dissent out of school board meetings, but drives it out into the community, where the board members cannot respond.
Board members would be better off to face their critics head-on and deal with the issues directly.
The board also should take a fresh look at its confusing policy for electing at-large members. With a simpler policy, the school district would not be embroiled in a lawsuit over who won the November election.
Hamilton is not the only school board saddled with convoluted rules for electing board members. The overlapping districts at DeKalb Eastern schools have caused election controversies in the past.
Many school boards drew their districts to keep harmony between rival communities when schools consolidated in the 1960s. In many places, those jealousies have died, and rules to prevent turf battles have become outdated.
In the lawsuit over Hamiltonís election, the school boardís legal argument is a study in contradictions. The board's attorneys want the judge to follow the school boardís reorganization plan, but ignore the part that describes where candidates must reside to be eligible.
Itís worth remembering that in any lawsuit, at least one lawyer is wrong.
School Board: Right to Speak
Maybe the Hamilton school board would profit from reading the Auburn city council's policy on public participation:
31.19 RIGHT OF PUBLIC TO PARTICIPATE
A) Members of the public shall have a reasonable right to participate in any matter being considered by the Common Council.
B) Members of the public shall be provided with the opportunity to participate in Council meetings, and the Council shall make reasonable efforts to comply with the American with Disabilities Act and accommodate any other special needs of the public.
C) Members of the public shall have the right to bring before the Council issues of public concern.
D) This section does not apply to executive sessions of the Common Council held under Indiana Code Sec. 5-14-1.5, the Indiana Open Door Law, as it is from time to time amended.
Note: No artificial time limits and no relegation of comments and questions until after matters of concern have been decided. If members of the public have something to say, they may say it when it needs to be said.