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Since I recorded this meeting, some interesting issues have been discussed by my School Board colleagues.
1. Is this legal? [It is, anyone can record a public meeting]
2. Could the public be confused that this was an official recording of the meeting? [I put disclaimers in the audio file and on the weblog entry. The only official record of a meeting is the approved minutes. I also pointed out we could be aggressive recording meetings ourselves, making them available to the public, to ensure quality control]
3. If someone was to regularly do this, could things be edited and taken out of context? [Certainly, but that is possible today with the media recording our meetings]
4. Could my voice be captured and digitally changed to say something else? [I told my colleagues anything was possible with someone motivated to do so and equipped with the proper software, but would anyone bother? I also pointed out that anyone could do that today by capturing the audio from a City Council or City School Board meeting today off of the Cable TV broadcast]
5. If this was done regularly, would our meetings run longer because all School Board members will be posturing and trying to sound good on the broadcast? [I don't know... I wonder what the experience has been in the City of Charlottesville]
6. What exactly is a Podcast and what if I don't have an iPod. [I shared a one page Podcast 101 with the School Board]

The more public access to the public information, public comments, and the public actions by members of public bodies the better! Congratulations and thanks, Brian! The governed deserve much more of this from those who govern. How about also routinely posting on the Division website all e-mails and all memos sent to or from any staff member or Board member to two or more other Board members?
Gary Grant
P.S. By the way, all public actions include the actual personnel actions by name of employee approved by the Board not a generic approval of "the list of Personnel Actions for such-and-such date."

Gary - Thanks for the feedback. While our School Board emails are also public records and subject to Freedom of Information Act requests, I don't think I am personally ready to start managing the sharing of all that info on a regular basis. I think it would also have a chilling effect on some of the productive communications we have with staff and board members. Something to consider. Are you aware of any elected body that follows that practice?

I am pleased that since I joined the Board we have expanded the materials available via the website and email, including all
reports to school board
and our school board news by email. I think this has made a lot more information available to the public and I think Podcasts, with individual recordings for each agenda item, will greatly improve access to our meeting activities. Brian Wheeler

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