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Letter: Opposition to Proposed Bylaw Change Dramatically Eliminating Public Comment

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Dear West Hartford Board of Education and To the Editor,

I am writing about the proposed bylaw change (proposed by the WeHa Board of Education) that will, for all intents and purposes, systematically eliminate public comment on non-agenda items that are still under the Board of Education’s purview.

Limiting the public’s ability to speak on BOE-related general matters to only ONCE a month, at the very END of the meeting when everyone is checked out or has left, is absurd and contrary to the spirit (and possibly letter) of Connecticut law surrounding board of education meetings.

This seems pretty extreme and somewhat analogous to the situation with the Native American high school team names, where an actual Connecticut chieftain was invited so late in the process that people barely heard and reflected on his very important argument for retaining the Warriors and Chieftains.

I wonder what the reaction would be if a Republican-controlled Board proposed the practical elimination of public comment on non-agenda items still under the Board’s purview (which are often what the public brings up anyway).

People of all political orientations should be upset at this blatant attack on the public’s right to ask questions of their elected officials. If this bylaw change passes, voters would do well to remember whoever supported and voted for this last minute, anti-democratic act of recklessness, regardless of whether they were a Democrat or a Republican.

Thank you,
Kyle W. Zelazny
West Hartford

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