SPRINGBORO — After about a year of holding work sessions before their business sessions, the Springboro Board of Education has announced a change in meeting formats.
Beginning in February, the board will revert to its previous meeting format. A business session will be held in the high school large instruction room. That will be followed by a work session in the high school library.
“It was changed last January or February as a test to see if there was a better way to move meetings along a little faster and in reality this caused meetings to be longer,” board president Kelly Kohls said. “(Former board president Scott) Anderson had a goal to speed up meetings by having only a work session once a month and one board per month. It turns out there is far too much business to do that and timing was not working out for one of each type of meeting so meetings went long due to needing both work and business meetings every night. We are back to a goal of having both a work session and a board meeting at each meeting, both open to the public and both invite public input. I have attended other boards of education meetings and some do not have a work session at all. I don’t believe that is helpful to the citizens that elected them but understand that the time commitment is of concern. Some, if not most, of our meetings were lasting until midnight. Both board members and the attendees were too tired to conduct business and are seeking alternatives. We will try going back to the old way and see if we can move through business in a more timely manner.”
Voting does not take place during work session, but “a brief work session before a vote would provide an opportunity to get any last minute questions addressed,” board vice president Jim Rigano said. “Over the last year we’ve found that we always needed a business session, and we believe conducting the work session after the board’s business is conducted will give us more time to consider items to be brought up in the next meeting.”
One portion of the meetings that will not revert to prior is public participation. “This board will continue to allow public participation on agenda items at work session,” Kohls said. “Opening work session to public comment is a practice that is new this year and will remain.”