At its June 23, 2015, meeting, the current Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD) board (with the exception of Tuyet Baruah who voted nay) voted in favor of a new controversial Community Comment policy that does not permit the public to speak before the board at the time of specific board meeting agenda items. See more about this here.
With only two of the board members returning who voted in favor of this new Community Comment policy, where do the current ICCSD board candidates stand on the issue of whether community members should be permitted to speak to the school board at the time of a specific agenda item?
Dr. Hani Elkadi hosted a recent forum for board candidates sponsored by PATV and addressed this issue–his specific statement was Allowing community members to speak to agenda items during board meeting. (See here to watch the forum.) Dr. Elkadi asked candidates if 1) they agreed with the statement, 2) thought the issue was on the table for revisiting, or 3) would state no. See below for candidate responses (you will need to scroll down). Given that the ICCSD board may have contested issues like closing a school, passing a bond resolution, budget cuts to programs, etc. come before it, permitting the public to comment at the time of the specific agenda item seems vital to informed decision making.
ICCSD Board Candidate
|Yes||Would Revisit Issue or Entertain Further Discussion||Absolute No|
|Jason Lewis||Further discussion|
|Megan Schwalm||Yes, need to revisit our new practice on when we allow community members to speak.|
|Chris Liebig||Unlimited comment at beginning of meeting. If not, at agenda.|
|LaTasha DeLoach||Think about it. Thinks it’s important to think about it.|
|Sean Eyestone||[Like LaTasha DeLoach] I would also say I have to think about it with some more information.|
|Phil Hemingway||Absolutely yes allow it. We’re a free and democratic society.|
|Lucas Van Orden||Yes, subject to a level of decorum.|
|Tom Yates||Yes, subject to a level of decorum.|