Huang, Cindy, School board to undergo background checks, Capital, February 4, 2016.
The reporter arrived late at the Feb. 1 meeting and missed the first three speakers, but I believe her reporting is nevertheless accurate. As of the time this story was posted online on the evening of Feb. 3, the webcast of the Feb. 1 meeting had still not been posted on the SBNC’s website. The meeting was recorded but not televised live. Background checking of government public records may be an important ingredient in the vetting process, but it is should be remembered that it is only one small component. Just think about how applicants for jobs in the private sector can pass such a background check but still cannot win a highly desirable position. Traditionally, newspapers conduct background checks when reporting on elections. Just think of presidential candidates, as an obvious example. The Capital has never before taken on this role with SBNC nominees, even when those nominees had obvious conflicts of interest that were acknowledged in the candidates’ applications.
chuang2 (the Capital reporter)
I didn’t see a video of the first 10 minutes of the meeting with those speakers. But I got the statements from two of them, and coupled with the half dozen people I heard who spoke after, I got the gist of the concerns.
Yes, I agree that you heard two-thirds of the public testimony and accurately reported the gist of it. That’s an extraordinary improvement over past Capital coverage of SBNC hearings (that is, prior to the current election cycle), and I’d imagine that anyone who cares about our school board is appreciative of that extra effort.
As an aside, most members of the public who speak at public meetings don’t prepare written testimony that can be handed out. I’m also not aware of anyone who handed out written testimony at the Feb. 1 meeting. Getting the story after a meeting adjourns is likely to be a risky proposition. For example, most people leave promptly, so between getting statements from the public officials (top priority) and the public (if time permits), there generally isn’t enough time. It’s also hard to identify people in a crowd when one hasn’t heard them speak and can thus can only identify them by name (assuming the name is accessible).