Favorite

Action, but no lights or camera 

LR School District cuts TV coverage.

WATSON
  • WATSON

It didn't used to matter much whether the Little Rock School Board's agenda meetings were televised. Historically, they were informal, with board members sitting around tables on the floor instead of behind their microphones on the dais, and extremely short — as short as 10 or 15 minutes — with little if any substantive discussion.

That changed earlier this year as the controversy over former Superintendent Roy Brooks' future heated up. The board frequently tacked special meetings on after agenda meetings, or got involved in sometimes heated debate over what issues would or wouldn't be on the agenda for future meetings. The district began televising those meetings on its public access channel.

So when the Dec. 6 agenda meeting — which stretched to two hours with a discussion of the planned new West Little Rock school — wasn't televised, the district heard about it from at least a few parents, spurred on by an e-mail sent out by Stacy Sells Pittman, a public relations executive and district parent.

Pittman's e-mail questioned whether interim Superintendent Linda Watson intended to make board meetings less accessible to district parents. Watson said that wasn't the case.

Watson said several board members had asked to go back to the informal set-up on the floor, which doesn't allow for televising. Since they've now gotten requests to televise the meetings again, Watson said, she planned to check on the cost and let the board decide.

District spokesman Joe Mittiga said the cost would be minimal: Paying one camera operator for the duration of the meeting.

However, board President Katherine Mitchell said she had no plans to bring the issue up, and no other board members addressed it at the Dec. 13 regular meeting, although three reached by phone — Baker Kurrus, Melanie Fox and Micheal Daugherty — said they had no objections to televising the meetings.

“Only one person wrote an e-mail about it,” Mitchell said. “I don't think people are concerned. It's just something for people to nitpick about.”

She said there was no reason to televise agenda meetings because board members don't discuss anything. The discussion of the West Little Rock school at that Dec. 6 meeting was so long because district staff had gathered information with the intention of presenting it at a board retreat that was postponed until January, and presented it at the agenda meeting instead.

Favorite

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Fritz Brantley

  • Words, Dec. 20

    Introducing an old movie on the old movie channel the other night, the host told an old story. The story is untrue, although I suppose the host, semi-old, believed it.
    • Dec 20, 2007
  • He talks, and talks, the talk

    A fellow posted an old newspaper article on his blog about a Mike Huckabee speech to a religious group in 1998. A friend faxed the article to me, then called to ask if I’d yet read it, which I had.
    • Dec 20, 2007
  • Going whole hog

    A Q&A with irreverent Arkansas-raised comedian Matt Besser
    • Dec 20, 2007
  • More »

More by Jennifer Barnett Reed

  • Learning to love North Little Rock in Park Hill

    Any description of North Little Rock's Park Hill neighborhood will eventually, inevitably, include a comparison to Hillcrest, its better-known cousin south of the river.
    • Dec 28, 2011
  • A reason to splash

    Fun rain gear and more at InJoy.
    • Mar 12, 2009
  • Pick up some spice

    And we ain’t talking about tarragon.
    • Feb 26, 2009
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Latest in Arkansas Reporter

  • Health care exec put on leave

    Matches description of anonymous person described in Cranford guilty plea agreement.
    • Jun 21, 2018
  • Float your own boat

    Greg Johnson's Little Rock Boat Builder Supply can make it happen, no experience needed.
    • Jun 14, 2018
  • Feeding more kids

    Arkansas public schools taking advantage of federal free-meal program.
    • Jun 7, 2018
  • More »

Most Viewed

  • Judge restores right to medication abortion

    For more than two weeks, all women in Arkansas, and Arkansas alone, were denied access to a two-pill regimen to end an early pregnancy in the privacy of their homes. But Monday, U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker issued a temporary restraining order against enforcement of the law, Act 577 of 2015, and Arkansas women once again had access to a method of abortion available nationwide.
  • Health care exec put on leave

    Matches description of anonymous person described in Cranford guilty plea agreement.
  • Ethics

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Ethics

    • The size of the Cahones on Dismang must me awe inspiring. Has the nerve to…

    • on June 21, 2018
  • Re: First, get a job

    • All this takes me back to old times. Asa, Saline County, Kirk Lane , Dan…

    • on June 20, 2018
  • Re: Title bout

    • Most vile cartoon!

    • on June 19, 2018
 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation