Boards look at changing meeting times, locations, content

Published 4:32 pm Saturday, October 1, 2022

Another governing board is considering changing meeting content and location.

The Dare County Board of Commissioners has already implemented its change, eliminating the board’s mid-month meeting. Henceforth, Dare commissioners will only meet at 9 a.m. on the first Monday of the month, unless that is a holiday. The board’s next meeting is Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022.

At its September meeting, Dare County’s Board of Education discussed changing location and content.

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Currently, school board meetings are scheduled at a different school each month. The first part of the meeting is recognizing achievements of students and faculty members. Also, each school presents an instructional highlight.

To broadcast and record the meeting, broadcast equipment must be hauled to the location, set up and operated. To set up meeting equipment takes two hours and limits the use of the school’s gymnasium, cafeteria or library where the school board meeting will take place.

Board of Education Chairman David Twiddy suggested changes.

Monthly board meeting agendas would be business only. He suggested meeting in the Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting room, which is already equipped with video and broadcast equipment. Plus, the county has set up a space where Hatteras Island residents can offer public comments in the Fessenden Center Annex. The county seems receptive to the idea of using the commissioners meeting room, said Twiddy.

As envisioned, board visits to schools would be informal and a time for staff appreciation.

Board member Mary Ellon Ballance said, “I don’t want to put any more on school personnel.”

Board member Margaret Lawler suggested meeting several times on the beach.

To that end, Twiddy has talked with town managers in Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills and Southern Shores about using meeting space. The towns usually have schedules for using board meeting space with a first-ask, first-in system for use.

The Board of Education will take up the topic again on Oct. 11, 2022, when it meets at Cape Hatteras Elementary School in Buxton.

At the September mid-month meeting of the Town of Manteo Board of Commissioners, commissioner Tod Clissold suggested receiving departmental written reports rather than having all the departmental directors make presentations at the mid-month meeting.