Televising the afternoon portion of the Sarasota County School Board workshops has been a source of tension between members of the board for months.
Bridget Ziegler, who won her incumbent board seat in November, made additional televising one of her top priorities during her campaign, bringing it before the school board and the Sarasota County Commission during their joint meeting Sept. 30. She was met with opposition from fellow board members.
Frank Kovach discussed the issue again at the board’s work session today. He said he wanted to state his opinion, because he was not present when the issue was discussed at the Oct. 21 meeting.
“When things are televised people act differently,” Kovach said, but added that there are some things discussed during the untelevised portion of the meetings that should be more public.
Kovach offered a compromise — some things need informal, frank discussion, he said, but any policy or potential issue that the board would be later voting on should be allocated to the televised section of the meetings.
“As chair, I’m going to be looking at issues more closely,” he said.
If there was something on the agenda that needed to be discussed in the morning, when it would be televised, he would work to rearrange the agenda, Kovach said.
It’s not simply widening the broadcasting window — more TV time means more staff time, and there are some of the more mundane issues that would be a waste for staff to televise, he said.
Ziegler, who championed televising both portions of the board’s meetings, said she was pleased with Kovach’s solution.
“It wasn’t a contentious issue finally,” she said. “Overall, I’m excited to see something I cared about moving forward.”