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Few attend BISD public hearing, some question agenda notification
BEAUMONT - Normally, the Beaumont School Board meets before a packed house, but a public hearing scheduled at the Beaumont ISD administration building Monday night was attended by a little more than a dozen members of the public.
According to board member Tom Neild, notifications of school board meetings are required to be posted 72-hour prior to the meeting. But Neild says notification about Monday night's public hearing was only posted on the district's website around 5:00 p.m. Friday.
Neild says a paper notification was also posted on the door of the BISD administration building late Friday.
One Beaumont resident says she learned about the meeting through Facebook.
Liz Welch said, "It's very unlikely that many people came by the building on Friday afternoon to see that agenda. It's very unlikely that many parents or patrons got on BISD's website over this weekend."
Trustee Tom Neild also says the posting didn't clearly define what was being discussed at Monday night's public hearing.
A Beaumont attorney is raising questions about when the meeting was scheduled to begin.
According to the agenda notice posted on BISD's website, Monday night's public hearing was set to begin "immediately following the Agenda Review/Meeting that begins at 5:30 p.m."
KFDM obtained an email written by attorney David Vann de Cordova, which is addressed to Board President Gwen Ambres. In that email, David Vann de Cordova writes:
Pursuant to statute, "A governmental body shall give written notice of the date, hour, place and subject of each meeting held by the governmental body. TEX. GOV'T CODE 551.041
Contrary to statute, the above-referenced 'Notice of Agenda Public Hearing [sic]' does not contain the 'hour' the said meeting is to commence. 'Immediately following the Agenda Review/Meeting that begins at 5:30 p.m.' does not apprise the public of the hour the said hearing/meeting is to start. It could mean 5:35 p.m. or for that matter 11:59 p.m. In other words, a member of the public would be forced to physically attend the 5:30 p.m. meeting to ascertain when the subsequent 'public hearing' starts.