BUCKSPORT — As budget season approaches in Regional School Unit 25 (RSU 25), many in the community might wonder what goes into the planning.
The RSU has been preparing with workshops for school board members and while these meetings have always been open to the public, some board members and Superintendent Jim Boothby have received feedback asking for the meetings to be televised.
“Members of the community would like to know what goes on in those meetings by having them televised,” Boothby said.
The problem arising from this request is that the current location of the meetings is not wired to be recorded.
This idea was also met with some reservations about televising the meetings, and in a vote, members decided to keep the meetings untelevised and in the same locations as in previous years.
“The G.H. Jewett School has been slated to be wired so we can tape meetings in the future, but right now we don’t have the capability,” Boothby said.
The only place available is at the town office, where the Town Council meets. It has been set up to tape meetings and broadcast them on Bucksport’s cable channel.
“I have talked to Town Manager Mike Brennan and he said we are welcome to use the room, which is only available on Thursdays,” Boothby said.
But the board has to make the final decision on whether to relocate and tape the meetings. One school board member, Tom Foster, expressed his feeling that it was not a good idea.
“Televising the workshops would not be a good idea because everyone would shut up,” Foster said. “When people know they are being watched, they won’t say what they really want to.
“In those workshops, we need honest feedback, and it just doesn’t happen if people feel they are being watched.”