Editorials published by the
Association are written by various members and
contributing non-members of the GRA.
School Board takes first step, but more is needed
minutes and DVDs to be available within a week
May 8, 2007
their meeting last night, the Goffstown school board
took its first step towards helping to increase public
involvement and their own accountability by agreeing to
post meeting minutes on their website and make DVDs of
their meetings available at the town library, both
within a week of those meetings.
We commend the board for their effort, and for their
response to the concerns and requests of the taxpaying
public. We also look forward to the board
following up on their announced plans to address the
more pressing problem of re-scheduling their meetings so
as not to conflict with those of the board of selectmen.
Obviously, the board's decision last night goes a long
way toward increasing public involvement and keeping
them better informed on what's going on in our school
district. Too often in the past, lack of
information, or worse, incomplete information, has often
led to misinterpretation and misunderstanding.
But the board's actions last night alone are not enough.
The board of selectmen's meetings are fully accessible
to the town's residents, either via personal attendance
or live broadcasts on GTV-22. Re-broadcasts of
those meetings are also available on GTV-16 (click
here for broadcast and re-broadcast schedules).
The real problem lies in the school board's meetings being
scheduled on the same nights as those of the board of
selectmen. Selectmen control 1/3 of our tax
dollars, and oversee every other board, committee and
department in town. The school district controls
the rest of our tax dollars. Yet residents cannot
attend one meeting without missing the other, nor can
they watch school board meetings live as they can with
These two boards control all of the town's tax revenue,
yet taxpayers have no way to attend both boards'
The school district, in a letter to the GRA, has
promised to work with GTV on increasing the number or
re-broadcasts of school board meetings. This,
along with the steps announced last night, will help
fill the gap.
But the real need is to provide taxpayers a way to
attend meetings of both boards. As far as we can
see, one of the boards needs to reschedule its
meetings to a different night.
Selectmen hold meetings at least four times a month;
every Monday night, and occasionally on other days or
nights as well. The school district holds only two
meetings a month, also on Monday nights (the first and
third Monday of the month). In our view, it is the school district's responsibility, and not that
of selectmen, to make the change to a different night of
Such a meeting schedule
change is imperative towards promoting openness,
accountability and public involvement in our school
With a 33$M+ budget under control of the school
district, the public has the right to be able to attend
school board meetings without giving up their right to attend selectmen
meetings as well.
Do you agree or disagree with the above
2007, Goffstown Residents Association. All Rights