The Willmar School Board has decided not to broadcast all of its meetings "live," based on Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard's recommendation.
This decision raises the question of what the board members and the superintendent fear or are trying to hide?
The School Board on Monday night adopted a new meeting schedule recommended by Kjergaard. The new schedule is as follows:
- Formal business meeting -- to be held the second Monday of each month -- broadcast live only on local cable.
- Informal workshop meeting -- to be held the fourth Monday of each month -- broadcast by tape delay only on local cable.
This is a step backwards for the board.
Both of the board's December meetings were broadcast live for the first time after the district invested in the installation of new equipment allowing for live broadcast of board meetings.
Why invest in the equipment to begin with if the board is only going to use this new capability 50 percent of the time?
Televising the workshop session on a tape-delayed basis is not a wise choice, especially after investing in the ability to broadcast board meetings live.
In addition, it is a seriously disappointing decision on the part of the board and Kjergaard.
We urge the board to reconsider its decision. The board should broadcast both sessions live -- the business meeting and the work session.
In addition, the board should go a step further by providing a "live-streaming" Web feed to provide access for all citizens via the Internet -- no matter whether they live in Willmar or in rural parts of the district.