The Hicksville School Board, through its unofficial spokesperson Carol Koegl, revealed that the primary reason for changing the policy regarding the taping of various meetings of the board was because "few other school districts continue the practice of taping."
I do not believe this is a sufficient reason to change a policy that has served the taxpayers well for a number of years.
The folks of Hicksville should be aware of the fact that the proposed change in policy only eliminates the taping of portions of board meetings, not the entire meeting.
Therefore, maintaining recording equipment, staff time expended in setting it up, moving it, cataloguing tapes and storing them would continue under the amended policy.
In my opinion, the main reason for eliminating the taping of portions of board meetings is due to the fact that board members do not want to be "caught on tape" discussing such topics as:
* The Lee Avenue School roof, which has been leaking for at least five years;
* The three consecutive years of early retirement incentives that robbed the district of large numbers of qualified teachers at a time when the labor market and the pool of new teachers was shrinking;
* The B.P.A. administered self-insurance program that is the subject of an ongoing FBI investigation; and
* The failed cogeneration project that cost taxpayers $1.3 million and is the subject of ongoing negotiations with the contractor.
If the new policy is adopted, I suspect the tape will be turned off if any of these topics become the subject of discussion.