BOE to offer in-person public participation

Staff Report

TIPP CITY — Tipp City Schools Board of Education is modifying public participation at board meetings.

While functioning under the state’s mass gathering restrictions in place due to the coronavirus, the board allowed for submitting written comments. It is now opening the doors to in-person comments.

For the board’s Oct. 26 meeting, those who wish to provide a public comment can do so at the meeting. It starts at 6 p.m. The district will adhere to social distancing, provide hand sanitizer, and require face coverings.

“The board considers public comment an important part of its engagement with the community. Recent feedback indicated community members prefer to deliver their comments themselves rather than having them read by board members,” said Mark Stefanik, superintendent of Tipp City Schools.

The board wants to transition to in-person board meetings in the near future. It could include moving them to a different location to provide space for social distancing and allow for more attendees.

The board offers two public comment opportunities. The first is close to the top of the meeting; the second window is near the meeting’s end.

“Board policy allows 30 minutes for each public comment period unless extended by a board vote and limits each speaker to five minutes unless extended by the presiding officer,” said Dave Stevens, district treasurer.

He added the board may reduce the per-person allotted time if there is a high number of community members who wish to make a comment. The full policy on public participation at board meetings is available on the district’s website under Board of Education.

All comments become a matter of public record and are subject to release under Ohio law and the federal Freedom of Information Act.

The district will continue to stream its monthly meetings and work sessions on the district YouTube channel.