This Is the Way the System Works, the System Works, the System Works
As pleasant of an evening as it is to be sitting in my car at the Tiverton High School writing blog posts, I have to say that I’m a little disappointed at the way the system apparently works.
Having been informed that tonight’s negotiation-related school committee meeting, wherein the committee would bring the town council up to speed, was open to the public, I overcame my four-day-week-Thursday inertia and traveled out to observe and, if given the chance, to participate. The two heads of the committee, Chairwoman Denise deMedeiros and Vice Chairman Michael Burk, were heading in just as I arrived, and they let me know that the public component of the meeting would consist of little more than a motion to enter closed executive session. They mentioned that the union had decided not to attend — and can you believe that gesture of good will? — and I quipped that I had hoped the reason Pat Crowley had left Dan Yorke’s airwaves was to make it out here to the boonies.
As I sat down in the library and began to take out my stealth bloggerware, I first heard somebody say “that’s Justin Katz,” and the town council immediately moved for executive session (not that I’m implying that the latter words were hastened by the former). Out I went, sardonic smile irresistible.
Now, I understand that the committee and the council have money matters to discuss, and that cards might be shown that are best not seen by the other party to the teacher contract negotiations. But couldn’t there be some pro forma production put on for the benefit of citizens? Some announcement of the meeting’s purpose and allowance of public comment as our representatives debate how to handle the single largest component of the town’s financial business?
So which came first? The chicken of closed meetings, or the egg of public apathy?
(By the way, with my subject line, I’m thinking less nursery rhyme and more T.S. Eliot.)