If you want to see what's going on at Arrowhead School Board meetings, you'll have to show up in person.
That's the bottom line, after the school board decided July 12 against videorecording its meetings.
Board members voted 7-2 against the measure, with Amy Geiger-Hemmer and Tim Langer the only two voting in support of the measure. According to Arrowhead School Board President Bob Rosch, the board felt that buying recording systems would be too expensive.
"We had estimates from a very basic system that would probably be about $8,000, up to a system that would be closer to $60,000," Rosch said. "It's a nicety; it's not a necessity. It's not required by law. Everything we do is by the book as far as publishing our minutes correctly and that kind of stuff."
Rosch added that there's more to the cost than just the equipment itself.
"Then you have to determine storage issues, because you have to retain everything for seven years," Rosch said. "That type of media takes up so much storage. Then you have to have people to run it."
"We just don't think the expense is worth the return on it because even on these other sites that have it, you have to see what the hits are on it," Rosch said. "So if you post the stuff, how many people are actually going to look at it?
"Our website is a pretty active website, but people aren't going on it to look at that stuff. They're going on it to look at the schedule because everything we do is on the electronic schedule for activities and things like that."
Also on July 12, the board tabled a proposal that would allow limited interaction between the school board president and members of the public at board meetings. School board members could also interact with the public if the school board president deferred a question on a topic to them.
Rosch said the issue was tabled to allow for time to add a little more information to it and put it in a brochure that's available for the public.
"People have to understand that when you attend these municipal meetings, school board meetings, things like that, those are open meetings for the public to attend to observe their elected officials. They're not public hearings, meaning that they can get up and expect that we're going to have interactions with them back and forth on topics that aren't listed on the agenda. That's where we have to be very careful," Rosch said.
Rosch said that a lot of times, people who come to the meetings want to ask a question. The new protocol, if approved, would allow for them to have the limited interaction while ensuring the board doesn't violate open meetings laws.
The board is expected to discuss the topic again at its Aug. 9 meeting. It will hold its budget hearing and annual district meeting Aug. 16.