But patrons were kept waiting as a 5 p.m. closed session that was supposed to wrap up by 6 p.m. dragged on until 7:30 p.m. The board then held a brief, public discussion about plans to work with the U.S. Department of Justice to hold a community dialogue on racism.
A public comment period was scheduled to begin shortly after 8 p.m. But the board opted to move ahead of public comments, "recognition" of 300 Canyons students, employees and volunteers for various achievements and awards. Calling the individuals names and allowing each to shake hands with board members took one hour.
The hundreds honored, along with their supporters, cleared out of the meeting before public comments began.
So did others who had been planning to give feedback to the board.
"I came to commend the board and to applaud the board for discovering a problem and calling it by its name," said the Rev. Nurjhan Govan, pastor of Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church in Salt Lake City.
But she lost patience with the extensive, recognition hour and left before public comments began. She had expected the board to have an open discussion about problems with racism.
"That's not what we got," she said. "They voted to change the order and sequence of the agenda and gave out 3,000 awards that they are still giving out. … We were snookered."
On her way out the door, one Alta High mom called the meeting a "disorganized mess."