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Letter: Amherst board should keep two public comment periods

Amherst board should keep two public comment periods

At its Jan. 5 meeting, the Amherst Board of Education announced that it was eliminating the second public comment session held at the end of the meetings. The board president said that the decision was made because “we are the only district in the area with two opportunities for public comment at each meeting.”

Once again, Amherst’s board has chosen to follow rather than lead! The second public comment session gives residents in attendance the opportunity to express their opinions on topics discussed during that evening’s meeting. It also provides residents who cannot make the beginning of the meetings a chance to be heard.

The president went on to say that “we certainly do continue to be interested in hearing what our community has to say.” However, the new decision is a direct contradiction to this statement. To paraphrase the board president: “Please don’t talk but continue to tell us what you have to say because we care.”

None of the other board members raised any objection or dissenting opinion to this decree. This is the same type of “group thinking” by the Amherst Board of Education that has taken the district from its third place ranking nine years ago to its current rank of eighth place.

James Gramkee