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NEWPORT BEACH : District to Reconsider Late-Night Meetings

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District will consider proposals to put a curfew on board meetings.

In proposing the time limits at last week’s board meeting, Trustee Edward H. Decker said votes to borrow money to invest in Orange County’s troubled pool and to roll that money over after the first year of investment were both taken in the wee hours, when board members were tired.

“That vote for the rollover was taken sometime around 12:30 a.m.,” Decker said.

He suggested the board not begin discussions or take action on any item after 10:30 p.m., with the board recessing to the following day if it could not complete its agenda in one night.

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Board President Judith A. Franco asked to push the curfew back to 11 p.m., and others voiced concern about stifling public comment or board discussion.

“It’s sort of a two-edged sword because, if you shorten down the meeting time, you shorten down discussion time,” Trustee Jim de Boom said.

But speakers from the public seldom address the board without a special invitation like Tuesday’s, which brought out residents with suggestions for mending the bond pool damage, Decker said.

The board agreed to consider Decker’s proposal and have formal discussion and action at a future meeting.

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