Amid all the higher profile stuff at today's Wake County school board meeting are a pair of items that could affect who the board listens to and how they operate.
The board is scheduled to give final approval today to a policy change that would allow new board members to remove people on their board advisory councils. The board will also discuss today during the COW meeting changing board meeting times.
Both changes are being pushed by members of the new board majority.
School board vice chairman Debra Goldman has been leading the push for the BAC changes to give new members more control over who serves on their councils. Under current policy, BAC members can't be removed before the expiration of their terms, which last up to three years.
The BAC change is on the consent agenda.
The board has also agreed on Feb. 16 to temporarily suspend parts of the board meeting policy on dates and times. They sent the issue to the policy committee for more discussion on what the new times might be.
Several new members have said that changing the times could make it more parent friendly.
But in particular, new board member John Tedesco has been pushing to change the start time of the meeting that's held on the third Tuesday of the month.
Tedesco explained that he didn't find out until a new president of the board of directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Triangle took office in January that the group would now meet on the third Tuesday from 5:30-8 p.m. As a VP in the organization, Tedesco wants to try to make that group's meetings as well.
Board members at last week's policy committee meeting agreed to float to the full board the idea of starting the meeting on the first Tuesday of the month later and starting the one on the third Tuesday earlier. One possibility could be having one meeting start at noon and the other at 4 p.m. The current start time is 3 p.m.
If they still can't agree on a time change, Goldman, chairwoman of the policy committee, said she'd want to talk with board attorney Ann Majestic about whether they can use proxy voting.
If the meeting times aren't changed and proxy voting can't be done, Tedesco said what he might do is try to go to every other BIg Brothers Big Sisters meeting. On the days when he does go, he said he'll work with the school board majority to structure the agenda so he can safely leave early and potentially come back if they're still meeting.
One of the things Tedesco is mindful of is avoiding a situation where his absence could give the board minority the upper hand. People remember how the Republicans were able to make Tony Gurley the chairman of the board of commissioners while Betty Lou Ward was out of the room on an unexcused bathroom break.
When Tedesco's not there, the board flips to a 4-4 split. In reality it means the minority have a 4-3 edge because board chairman Ron Margiotta can only vote to break ties.