In my time as a Clarenceville Board of Education Trustee, I came to understand that if there is nobody in attendance at our meetings, we are most likely doing a good job. Folks generally do not attend a school board meeting to tell you how well you are doing, it just doesn't happen. On the other hand, when difficulties arise, finding a seat in the board room can suddenly be a problem. It became a running joke among us when we walked into an empty board room. One of our board members would say, “No tar, no feathers, no people, no problems.”
This same rule of thumb holds true for municipalities. If things are going well, the last place you will find folks is at a Board of Trustees meeting. Only the people paid, or elected to be there, generally attend these meetings. Maybe that is why I got all the curious looks.
I thought about my old school board days when I sat
through my first full Canton Township Board of Trustees meeting.
When I first sat down, there were two others in the room, besides
myself. One of them was a young lady with a group called the Senior
Alliance, and she was there to give an update on their activities to
the board. The other was an older gentleman, and he left after the
Senior Alliance representative gave her report.
So basically, fifteen minutes into this meeting, I was the sole member of the audience. How boring this must have been for the Canton Township Board of Trustees. Here they are, at their public forum, giving their opinions on the business of the township, and there is nobody to share these opinions with. They could wax poetic on any number of issues, show off their knowledge of the pulse of the community, or generally grandstand in front of their constituents. None of this happened. This meeting was rather boring to be honest.
About a week ago, I told Canton Treasurer Melissa McLaughlin that I would be attending a meeting at some point in the future. She told me that I would be bored, she said, “We specialize in boring.” Treasurer McLaughlin was right.
Sure, the meeting was boring, but it was also quick. The meeting lasted roughly an hour, even though it covered a number of issues. These board members obviously communicate well, and once the meeting is under way, they are all on the same page, whether they agree on an issue or not.
It is obvious that they are not consumed with politics and personalities, they simply focus their energy on getting the job done. It seems to me that folks chose well, when they elected this board. It runs like a well oiled machine.
Treasurer McLaughlin got it right when she said that they specialize in boring. No drama, no spats, no grandstanding, just business. And the beat goes on...