On Tuesday, the school board held its second "Community Budget Workshop," and interestingly, while people over 65 are still jockeying to get appointments for the COVID vaccine, people under 65 don't yet qualify to get the vaccine, and Columbia County is still seeing new cases of the virus every day, the Hudson City School District decided it was time to resume in-person meetings. Yesterday, Aliya Schneider had an article about the development in the Register-Star: "Hudson school board resumes in-person meetings." The article reports the reasons given by Dr. Maria Suttmeier, HCSD superintendent, for returning to in-person meetings with no live stream or recording of the meeting. The reasons essentially boil down to this: "The board is not obligated to live-stream the meetings." It does not, however, question why the board chose to do this in the middle of the budget process, giving the impression that the goal was discourage public involvement in what last year was called by one critic "fantasy budgeting."
The article does touch on the fact that the school board meetings regularly conflict with Hudson Common Council meetings, making it impossible for citizens to attend both meetings. When asked about the scheduling conflict, Mayor Kamal Johnson is quoted as saying, "There's not really too many city officials that get involved with the school district. It's kind of two separate worlds." Two separate worlds, perhaps, but the performance of the school district affects the overall quality of life in Hudson, and the school district's runaway budgets definitely impact Hudson property owners. Johnson did acknowledge that eliminating the meeting overlap could "help close the communication gap with the city and the school" and concluded, "It should be something that's thought about."
COPYRIGHT 2021 CAROLE OSTERINK