Friday, May 23, 2014

KDE Clears the way for Price's Skype Vote

In a communication with KDE officials late this afternoon KSN&C has learned that potential legal disagreements over a board member's ability to fully participate in the May 28th special meeting of the Fayette County Board of Education via teleconferencing have been resolved.

This from KDE:
The Open Meetings Act (OMA) (KRS 61.826) provides for video teleconferencing of a meeting as follows:

61.826 Video teleconferencing of meetings.
(1) A public agency may conduct any meeting, other than a closed session, through video teleconference.

(2) Notice of a video teleconference shall comply with the requirements of KRS 61.820 or 61.823 as appropriate.
In addition, the notice of a video teleconference shall:
(a) Clearly state that the meeting will be a video teleconference; and

(b) Precisely identify the video teleconference locations as well as which, if any, location is primary.

(3) The same procedures with regard to participation, distribution of materials, and other matters shall apply in all video teleconference locations.

(4) Any interruption in the video or audio broadcast of a video teleconference at any location shall result in the suspension of the video teleconference until the broadcast is restored.

According to KDE spokeswoman Nancy Rodriguez,
"The Kentucky Department of Education’s position is that if provisions of the Open Meetings Act  (OMA) (KRS 61.826) for "video conferencing" are met a school board member may participate fully in a meeting, including exercising voting rights. Those provisions include the issuance of a meeting advertisement that (1) notes the meeting will be conducted via video conference and (2) indicates the remote video conference locations that would give the public the option of attending at that location and the primary location.

It is KDE’s understanding that Fayette County public school officials have sought and received legal advice from their counsel on this matter and that they have been advised they do meet the statutory requirements of KRS 61.826.

The Kentucky Attorney General’s Office is the final arbiter on Open Meetings Law, and you may want to consult with that office for further information.


Anonymous said...

So, instead of going to the Board of Education building for the meeting, we can take 50 people to Markey Cancer Center for the meeting? According to the bylaw, both remote locations should be available for the general public. Is Markey Cancer Center ready for the crowd? Does the superintendent care about the welfare of his board member or is he just looking for one more vote? The superintendent and the Vice-Chair were flat out lying when they said that had to make changes to the budget prior to the next meeting. What did they do? They spend their time and energy figuring out a way to get another board member, who is in the Markey Cancer center, to vote. This is just another shady business dealing of the superintendent. (Hiring a friend as a consultant, bring in Lu Young, buying the STEAM academy building which is owned by teacher's retirement fund)

Anonymous said...

As a teacher at the STEAM Academy, I second the post above. How does one report the superintend for ethics violations? Do we just write a letter to Dr. Holliday?

Richard Day said...

Boy, am I ever conflicted over this one.

On one hand, I believe the open meetings (and records) act requires tending. Citizens should continue to push for transparency in all public governmental functions. If a member of a public board is going to telecom into a meeting, by law the location of that member must also be public. That's good.

But in this case…?

The health of FCPS Chair John Price is none of my business and I don’t want to get into it. But the need for a bone marrow transplant is not good news. The major risk of BMT is an increased susceptibility to infection and bleeding as a result of the high-dose cancer treatment. Patients who undergo BMT may experience short-term side effects such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue, loss of appetite, mouth sores, hair loss, and skin reactions.
So the possible introduction of members of the public into John’s (sterile?) environment is, on some level, unconscionable.

If the idea of John skyping into the upcoming board meeting came from John himself, and if he was fully appraised of the conditions and potential repercussions…well, then reluctantly…OK..I guess...

If the suggestion came from the district…yikes!

I had occasion to speak to an official with UK healthcare yesterday about the possibility of a public meeting involving a cancer patient taking place in his facility. He was aghast. In an environment where patient care necessarily comes first; where the setting is anything but conducive to receiving members of the general public; where risk of harm to the patient sharply increases (which no one wants); it’s hard to see how the needs of the district to pass a particular budget outweigh John’s needs.

I sincerely hope no one chooses to make this a test case, and show up in the Markey Cancer Center hoping to watch John’s participation.