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Washington County school board afternoon meetings might violate policy

June 18, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN -- A decision to continue to hold some Washington County Board of Education meetings in the afternoon might conflict with the board's own policy, according to some board members.

Board President Roxanne R. Ober said Tuesday that it conflicts with an existing policy that states that regular business meetings will be held "twice each month at 6:30 p.m. on days to be determined by the board."

Tuesday's public business meeting was held at 1 p.m., as was its June 3 meeting. Evening business meetings typically begin at 6 p.m.

The board typically has one evening and one afternoon meeting each month.

However, Board Member Wayne D. Ridenour said Tuesday that the board is in compliance because the policy also states, "The public will be informed through the media if this schedule is altered."

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"As long as we are following that sentence, we can change the times at our pleasure or need," Ridenour said.

After The Herald-Mail asked about the possible conflict with policy, board members discussed changing the policy. The board decided to have a committee discuss the policy further.

The committee made recommendations in January to change the policy, but the seven-member board voted against the changes.

Board Member Ruth Anne Callaham said she would like the policy to restrict the school board to meeting on Tuesdays, unless it would be impossible.

"Tuesday in this county is government day," she said.

Board Vice President Donna Brightman said the earlier recommendation by the committee was intended to make the policy more flexible.

Ridenour said the board might want to adopt a policy that does not specify a meeting time, since the board's general practice is to have one afternoon meeting and one evening meeting each month.

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