NCSD trustees oppose decision to limit time to hear public comments - Casper, WY Oil City News
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NCSD trustees oppose decision to limit time to hear public comments

A citizen approaching the podium to speak at the NCSD Board of Trustees’ Monday, September 13 meeting who was turned away because the 30 minute time limit had passed. (NCSD, Youtube)

CASPER, Wyo. — Natrona County School District Trustees Dave Applegate, Clark Jensen and Rita Walsh said at the end of the Monday, September 13 Board of Trustees meeting that they disagreed with a decision to limit public comment during the meeting to a total of 30 minutes.

Due to the time limit, some people who had come to the meeting to address the board were not able to do so.

Applegate said he thinks it was a poor decision to cut the public off from speaking. He said that people who did have the chance to speak brought up important topics like career and technical education, tennis facilities, COVID-19 policy and issues surrounding homeschooling and enrollment.

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“If the public wants to come and talk to us, we should be here to listen,” Applegate said. “I don’t care if it takes all night. I wish I would have said something earlier.”

“Our credibility is damaged when we do not listen. Democracy depends on us listening.”

Applegate said that he thinks the district should never again limit overall public comment to 30 minutes.

NCSD Chair Ray Catellier took responsibility for ending the public comment at the 30 minute time limit. He said it was a mistake and apologized for doing so. He invited people who had come to speak to come back in the future and speak to the board and said he would not limit public comment in this way again.