Fort Worth school board members might limit what they’ll talk about at public meetings. It doesn’t bode well for the public.
On a motion by District 7 Trustee Norman Robbins at the board’s June 9 meeting, members discussed requiring any trustee who wants to add something to a meeting agenda to first get the backing of two fellow trustees.
Picture how it would work: A trustee wants to address something in his or her district but must shop the idea around among fellow board members before it can be brought up in public.
Currently, a trustee takes any such request to the board president for placement on the agenda. The June 9 discussion quickly showed that some trustees are uncomfortable with saying it takes three votes to get on the agenda.
But they could go for two. Trustee Ashley Paz had the right question: Why?
“I have not seen where it has been abused by individual board members in requesting additional agenda items,” she said. “I feel like we are putting ourselves in a situation where we are offering a solution … when there is not really a problem there to begin with.”
Discussing agenda ideas privately could run afoul of the Texas Open Meetings Act, Paz said.
“We each serve nearly 100,000 constituents in our individual districts, and I believe we should not be passing what is in my opinion bad policy that makes it more difficult for our stakeholders to see action from us and for us to have transparent discussions in the open.”
They delayed a vote on the idea.