As a part of my duties at WLBG I cover some public meetings of government entities. One of them I get to attend on a regular basis is Clinton City Council. Now, those are fun. The Mayor and all the council members, as well as Interim City Manager Frank Stovall and the rest of the city’s staff do a good job of making the business of doing the city’s business fun. They know when to get serious but also how to have fun while tackling serious issues. It’s actually fun.
But I wasn’t at Clinton City Council on Monday, August 22nd. I covered a meeting of the School District 56 Board of Trustees. Well, I covered it a while and, I must confess that I think I may have nodded off a time or two.
Why the difference? Well……………let me preface this by saying that the men and women who serve on the school board in District 56 do so without pay. They dedicate a huge amount of time to conduct the business of the district. I imagine that a lot of people believe they’re paid for those services. They are not.
Having said that, I’d like to say something to the folks on the school board……………LIGHTEN UP…………..PLEASE!! You take yourselves WAY too seriously. Dont’ be so defensive and stop with the semi-competition to see who can find the nit-pickiest item to point out.
The meeting in question lasted nearly 2 and 1/2 hours. That’s 2 and 1/2 hours of long discussions of what ‘special’ means. 2 and 1/2 hours of fighting to maintain consciousness.
The one bright spot of this particular meeting? They took a vote……….two votes actually……..that did not result in unanimous agreement. Hats off the Ms. Elizabeth McKinney for stating her opposition to something. I have often felt that one member or another really wanted to vote no on something but they weren’t sure that was allowed. Ms. McKinney didn’t ask. I actually found that refreshing. I’m glad I was awake to see it.
Now, again, these folks serve without pay. They come out to these meetings, do a lot of work and preparation behind the scenes and occasionally catch flak from parents……all on a volunteer basis. So, I’m not just complaining. I actually would like to see the mood lifted so the board members can actually have a little fun while doing the district’s business. They could have a little fun and maybe I could stay awake. And maybe………..just maybe……..meetings could be completed in less than 2 and 1/2 hours.