Daly City school board to televise meetings

It might not be “American Idol,” but the televised meetings of the Jefferson Elementary school board should prove educational.

The school board will hold its first televised meeting tonight in Daly City’s Council Chambers after negotiations with the city landed them the opportunity to use the city’s facilities.

Jefferson Elementary School District is the only school district in San Mateo County to televise meetings, an idea that some fought over fears of board members posturing and lengthening meetings — as well as the possibility of looking foolish on television.

Board President Anthony Dennis said he was “extremely excited” to begin broadcasting the meetings on Daly City’s Channel 27 because it will “stop a lot of rumors and misconceptions” from reaching the public.

“Now with television, everybody can come to their own conclusion,” Dennis said, casting aside any worries about how he appears on screen. “Personally I know I’m not going to look pretty on TV.”

“There is no more open government than being on TV,” he added.

The board approved televising the meetings at the end of May, wanting to hold off until they were finished working with a representative of the California School Boards Association in reviewing proper meeting procedures and conduct.

The average cost of a three-hour meeting will be $157.89, and the total annual cost to the district is estimated to be $3,947.25 for 25 meetings, according to the district. Jefferson will pay for the video technician’s hourly rate, videotapes, DVDs and cases, building maintenance and equipment depreciation.

Assistant Superintendent Matteo Rizzo said televising the meetings would be “interesting,” adding that it should better inform all those involved.

Dennis said he hoped televising the meetings would help with positive outreach for the district, noting that at the end of the meetings the district could run advertisements for things happening at local schools.

“Maybe enrollment will go up — maybe people will see the positive things we’re doing,” he said.

Tonight’s meeting begins at 7:30 at Daly City Council Chambers, 333 90th St., Daly City.

dsmith@examiner.com


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