Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: Hearing aids should be available

Tonight I finally made it to the school Board meeting at Mt Blue. This winter the weather prevented my attending. When Tom Ward was the superintendent he made sure the hearing aids were available. The school owns at least 18 small hearing aids which connect with the loud speakers used by Board members. Under the present administration the aids are no longer available. It is impossible for me to hear well enough to understand anything that transpires. I assume these aids were purchased with tax payer funds. As such they should be available at every meeting open to the public. When these systems are in use I can hear every word and can enjoy the meetings. Without them it is a total waste of my time (at my age I can’t afford to waste a moment). I hope other citizens will support me in my attempt to get the current administration to make this system available at all public meetings.

Charlotte Bogue
Farmington

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5 Responses »

  1. Since they already have the equipment and capability it seems odd that they don't make it available for people to use. In the past, the earphones helped a lot of folks hear and keep up with what was being said. A lot of people speak at these meetings and some have soft voices or don't speak directly into the microphones. I hope the school changes their policy back for the sake of the public.

  2. Not only the elderly have difficulty hearing at the board meetings. This has been an on going problem for several years. Finally Dr. Ward secured the hearing aids that were used by several of the audience at each meeting. AND Charlotte, not only have the hearing devices disappeared, but also the microphones that were positioned in front of the board members and administration. The live-streaming has stopped supposedly because the equipment is faulty, no students available to operate it, AND no money available. It seems that there is no need to have public interest in school board meetings, or public attendance at such, or possibly it is not wanted! With a $35 million budget one would assume that the devices above mentioned would be available so that those in attendance could hear what is being said and not have to ask for information to be repeated. People should be permitted the privilege of staying at home and watching live-stream. What if a ramp for access were the problem? If the administration/board care about public interest and support they will implement the devices that were once in place. Before next year,or the next district budget meeting and validation vote!

  3. The problem I have with the live streaming I can’t watch what happened on my time. I can’t get to most meetings and can’t watch the actual live stream I watch sometimes a week later. Now that’s not available. I’ve heard some other people say that we have lost a public record. Doesn’t seem the transparency is as abundant as they like to tell us.

  4. It is my understanding that "public participation" is next on the chopping block. Where is this "transparancy"? First it was doing away with the live streaming and now discussion on whether or not to allow public participation. Where does it end? Next thing you know they will not allow us to attend their meetings.

  5. It ends when we don't get to vote.

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