From October, meetings will be recorded on video

The Santa Barbara County Board of Education voted 7-0 on Thursday and began video recording the meeting.

The recording, which includes a Spanish translation, will begin at the board’s Oct. 6 meeting, Board President Judy Frost told News-Press in an email.

Thursday’s vote included newly appointed board member Nadra Ehram, who was appointed to fill the seat left by Peter McDougall’s premature resignation. McDougall resigned at the board meeting on June 7.

Mr. Ehlam will represent Trustee Area 2 through the November 2024 election for the remainder of Mr. McDougall’s term.

In May, the board voted against video recording. On June 2, the board approved his audio recording by a 7-0 vote.

As previously reported by the News-Press, the meeting had long gone unrecorded and had limited public access.

On June 7, Mr. Frost requested that video recording be put on the agenda.

The August 4 meeting included a presentation by Superintendent Susan Salcido on audio recordings. I was told in detail about the cost and the process. She said it would take about two weeks for the recording to be posted on the website and made available to the public.

Board member Michel de Weld made a motion to approve the video recording. Motion Failure 4-2. Several board members said they felt they needed more information before voting in favor of video recording.

At its August 4 meeting, the Board unanimously decided to direct staff to present a detailed plan for implementing video recordings at Thursday’s meeting.

“Staff provided that information yesterday,” Frost told the news press on Friday.

After a motion and brief discussion, the Board unanimously decided to proceed with the implementation of video recording.

De Werd told News-Press: I am pleased that the Board reviewed and unanimously voted in favor of recording and archiving the meeting on the SBCEO website.

“We also learned at the meeting from Superintendent Salcido’s report that the SBCEO will utilize existing inventory equipment to record meetings via stationary iPads and will utilize existing staff to do so.” said de Werd. “There is an additional charge of $100 per hour for interpreters.

“The public cannot comment remotely, they have to comment in person,” she said.

“I am committed to opening up our government and ensuring as much public access as possible, especially when it comes to public education for our children and the spending of taxpayer money,” De Weld told the news press. rice field.

“Also, most county boards, school districts, and public agencies post historical minutes and board booklets on their websites that go back five to seven years or more. does not practice this,” she said. “Our minutes and board packets date back to 2020. We publish historical minutes to track trends, strategic plans, budgets, Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs), and board votes. It should be made available for review.

“I spoke to a lot of people and most people thought our meetings were being taped like any other public institution. I was surprised to find out it was just that,” de Werd said.

News-Press asked de Werd about options for participation and public comment on digital platforms such as Zoom.

“It was not part of the discussion…The board did not give a reason as to why it was not an option. If you wish to comment at this point, please come in person. No,” de Werd said.

Rosanne Crawford, who is fighting incumbent Marybeth Carty in Area 1 of the County Board of Education Trustee, told the News-Press. If elected to Trustee Area 1, I will take it a step further and promote remote access, registering electronically to allow the public to speak in her comments and on any topic.

“This is necessary because the county school board often meets in the morning and afternoon at the Santa Barbara Department of Education, making it difficult for many to attend,” Ms Crawford said. “People from Carpinteria, Santa Maria and Lompoc in particular find it difficult to attend in-person meetings in Santa Barbara. It has to be comprehensive.”

de Werd said: We requested that the SBCEO website post the minutes and Board materials from past meetings (5-7 years) as agenda items for future Board meetings.

“I speak for myself, not for the Santa Barbara County Board of Education,” she said.

Email: kzehnder@newspress.com



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