Pinellas moves public comment to end of meeting
The public will have to wait until after the Pinellas County School Board's regular meetings conclude to make comments about items not on the regular agenda.
Board members voted unanimously Tuesday to move general comments from before the meeting until after. Chairwoman Carol Cook said the intention was to make the meetings run more efficiently. Often, she said, there are only two speakers before the meetings, which then results in a lag time between public comment and the official start of the meeting. Or, like Tuesday night, there are a dozen speakers and the comment period runs into the start of the meeting.
Members of the public still will be able to speak to items on the agenda during the regular meeting. The change also will have no affect on the board's work sessions in which the public isn't allowed to speak at all.
With the change, board meetings will start a half hour earlier. Regular meetings now will start at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
The School Board used to have general comments at the end of the meeting. Board members agreed to change the practice with the intention of later revisiting whether it had been worthwhile.