Public Comment Policy
A public comment period shall be included as an item of business on the agenda at each of the regular monthly meetings of the Board of Commissioners. There will be no public comment periods held during agenda meetings, special meetings, or workshops, unless otherwise specified by the Board. All comments and suggestions to the Commissioners during the public comment period shall be subject to the following guidelines:
- Each person desiring to speak during the public comment period shall sign up to speak prior to the start of the meeting on the form provided at the door, by listing the speaker’s name, address and the topic on which he or she will speak. Any related documents, printed comments, or materials the speaker wishes distributed to the Commissioners shall be delivered to the County Clerk in sufficient amounts (8 copies) at least fifteen minutes prior to the start of the meeting. Persons wishing simply to speak may sign up at any point before the meeting begins.
- A total of thirty (30) minutes shall be set aside for public comment. At the end of this time, those who signed up to speak but have not yet been recognized may be requested to hold their comments until the next meeting’s public comment period, at which time they will be given priority for expression. Alternatively, the Board, in its discretion, may extend the time allotted for public comment.
- Each speaker will have a maximum of three (3) minutes to speak. A speaker may not sign up to speak more than once during the same public comment period. No time may be yielded to a speaker by another speaker. To avoid repetitiveness, groups are encouraged to select a spokesperson to speak on their behalf. At the request of the Board, groups of persons supporting or opposing the same positions may be asked to designate a spokesperson to speak, and the designated spokesperson may be allotted up to 8 minutes. Additional time may be allowed at the discretion of the Board.
- Speakers will be acknowledged to speak in the order in which their names appear on the sign-up sheet. Speakers will address the Commissioners from the lectern and begin their remarks by stating their name and address.
- Public comment is not intended to require the Commissioners to answer impromptu questions. Speakers should expect the Commissioners to refrain from engaging in a dialogue, except to the extent necessary to clarify the speaker’s position. The allotted time for speaking from the podium is the method to address the Board during the public comments period. The Board will not entertain questions or comments called out from the audience. The Board will not take action on an item presented during public comment. When appropriate, the Board may refer inquiries and items brought up during public comment to the County Manager for follow up.
- Speakers should at all times maintain proper decorum and shall make their comments in a civil manner. Personal attacks will not be tolerated. No person will be allowed to make obscene, derogatory, or slanderous remarks. Speakers will not discuss matters regarding the candidacy of any person seeking public office, including the candidacy of the person addressing the Commissioners.