The Board of Education has been made aware of claims by some Mahopac community members that they were deprived of the opportunity to address matters of public concern during the June 18 board meeting.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and consistent with the governor’s executive orders, the Board of Education has held all meetings virtually beginning April 2020. No in-person meetings have been permitted to occur. We acknowledge that the June 18 meeting was mistakenly noticed as an in-person meeting at the Falls School auditorium.

Unfortunately, unbeknownst to the district clerk and the Board of Education, the individual responsible for the task of updating meeting notifications did not correctly update the meeting notification of the June 18 meeting location. This individual also took the notice down when it should not have been taken down, thus causing further confusion. Moreover, this error may have affected the live-stream link of the board meeting on YouTube. The board regrets any confusion that might have caused members of the Mahopac community who may have relied on the notice to believe that in-person comments would be allowed. The board is making every effort to address this mishap to avoid miscommunications in the future by implementing new internal protocols and procedures.

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We also would like to further clarify the board’s agenda and public comment procedures during board meetings.  The agenda at board meetings is established by the board president and superintendent of Schools. While individuals may comment on agenda items, the public does not have the right to set the agenda. If residents have questions or specific comments about matters of public concern that are not on the agenda, we ask that residents submit the following to the district clerk via email at no later than 3:30 p.m. the day of the meeting.

1. Resident’s name and address;

2. Questions and/or specific comments

The emails for questions and/or comments submitted for the June 18 meeting were reviewed with school district officials and did not meet the criteria as described above.

Finally, we would like to remind anyone who may feel frustrated over not having been given an opportunity to have spoken at the last meeting, to avoid placing blame and demeaning, threatening, bullying or harassing remarks directed at our district clerk, Ms. LaRocca. While we acknowledge the public’s First Amendment rights, we urge all persons to act in a respectful and civil manner. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding moving forward.