Letter: RPB Won’t Help Promote School Board Forum

I am a 14-year resident of the Village of Royal Palm Beach, an active member of the League of Women Voters, a past member and vice chair of the Royal Palm Beach Education Advisory Board and a retired educator.

I am concerned about the restrictions placed on information relevant to the residents of this village. The league is hosting a candidates’ forum for school board candidates on July 17 at 6 p.m. at the Royal Palm Beach Cultural Center. I am an active member of this non-partisan group. Believing that information is vital to our existence, and concerns our families, I made an official request of the village to publish this event to the residents on their signage and/or their web site.

This request was not made blindly. I was thinking about the many corners of this village that advertises events such as Zumba classes, ballet classes and yoga schedules to drivers, not necessarily residents, of this village while driving east on Southern Blvd. or west on Okeechobee Blvd. This forum is for residents of Royal Palm Beach, Loxahatchee, The Acreage and Belle Glade. I thought, gee, this is vital information for the parents in my community, and I believed that the leaders of this unique village would welcome information that could not only enhance, but encourage us to be involved in our civic responsibilities. After all, it is the residents who get to decide who will be the person(s) responsible for their child’s education by casting their vote in August.

Well, it seems as though we will have some uninformed persons not expressing their rights to the democratic process of getting to know the leaders whom we are asking to sit on the school board.

The response I received from the Village of Royal Palm Beach:

“After reviewing the policy and procedures in place for the village informational signs, I am sorry to inform you that we will not be able to fulfill your request. Good luck with your event and let me know if there is anything else I might be able to help you with in the future.”

Question: Will this process be also used for village council candidates?

If this is a village policy and procedure, the residents should be made aware of this and, at the very least, a copy should have been attached to your letter of rejection. What exactly is/are the policy and procedures for the informational signs?

This is an informational forum encouraging parents residing in this area to examine each candidate’s vision for the school board prior to the upcoming election. We’ve all heard the saying “it takes a village.” However, the village can’t exist without an informed community.

Una James, Royal Palm Beach