Board cancels comment plan, says goodbye to Marshall

By CHELO GRUBB

A proposal to change the format for public comments during Pima Community College governing board meetings was cancelled without ever being tested.

Days before the November meeting, Chairman Scott Stewart announced a plan to split public comments between agenda items and non-agenda items.

People wishing to speak about items on the agenda would have had an opportunity to speak for five minutes before the board voted on any action items.

Audience members wishing to discuss items not on the agenda would have been given three minutes each just before the meeting adjourned.

Stewart said the change would offer citizens an opportunity to hear about things going on at the college before they spoke.

However, Stewart announced at the beginning of the Nov. 14 meeting that he had decided not to make the change, saying “a lot of greenhouse gas has been expended” over the issue.

Stewart did allow time for end-of-meeting comments for anyone who was expecting a later comment portion, but no one came forward.

The November meeting was the last scheduled for 2012.

The board usually switches leadership in January. If the board stays with the rotation it has been following, District 1 representative Brenda Even will be the 2013 chairwoman.

Stewart said board members would discuss changes to meeting format when they reconvene in January with new District 3 member Sylvia Lee.

Sherryn Marshall had held the District 3 seat since 2000, but did not win re-election in the Nov. 6 election. District 5 incumbent Marty Cortez defeated two opponents to keep the seat she has occupied since 1995.

Board members and interim chancellor Suzanne Miles thanked Marshall for the time she served on the board.

Stewart said he was “genuinely sorry” Marshall was leaving.

He offered a wrapped pen and pencil set as a gift on behalf of the board, and placed a kiss atop Marshall’s head.

“You have been the strongest voice for employees,” Stewart said.

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