Two members required to place item on agenda

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

A policy change approved this week by the school board now allows items to be placed on the agenda with a written request from two members of the board.

No previous written policy existed before, according to board members, on how items for discussion and action should be placed on the agenda.

Board President Antonio Bill said this written policy reflects the consensus of the board and is a reflection on how the board works.

"Any changes or revisions ever made, always require a consensus of the board, in this case, it is a consensus of the board that it would take two members to add an item on the agenda for action," Bill said.

"I agree with the recommendation because it has the backing of the board. This reflects the opinion of the board in respect to items placed on the agenda that otherwise wouldn't be placed on the agenda."

Board Vice President Yolanda Bueno said it wasn't a change in policy, but more of a formal statement on something that wasn't there before.

"Actually it wasn't a change in policy, we didn't have a policy on that matter. I didn't know we didn't have a formal written policy and now we have one," Bueno said.

Roger Saenz, a board member who has voiced in the past some concern that the board needed a written policy in place, said this new policy for agenda items will allow public debate in a consistent manner.

"I think the board needed to take action on this. What we have now is a written policy, which allows two members to put an item on the agenda, for information or for action, that the other board members may agree with or not. It only takes two. I think it is consistent with allowing the public to debate their concerns, so they don't have to have a majority or a near majority on the board to be allowed the opportunity," Saenz said.

"Before there was a question as to what the policy was. Since there was no apparent written policy, it allowed some variation and no consistent means on how to get it done before. This is for the benefit of the public."