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Posted on: January 4, 2024

Public Comment Rules of Procedure and Decorum at Town Council Meetings

Public Comment  Rules of Procedure & Decorum at Council Meetings

Public Comment Rules of Procedure and Decorum at Town Council Meetings

1. For members of the public who would like to address the Town Council, a request form is available from the Town Clerk or Deputy Town Clerk; please fill it in and return it prior to the start of the meeting. Speakers should come to the podium in the front and clearly state their name and address for the record. All request forms must be submitted no later than the conclusion of the “Public Comment” section of the agenda for anyone wishing to speak during “Public Comment” or on any agenda item.

2. All comments must be addressed to the Council as a body and not to individuals. Any person making a racial or slanderous remark or who becomes boisterous while addressing the Town Council, staff, etc. shall be barred from the audience by the presiding officer. No profanity, shouting, heckling, verbal outbursts, or disruptive behavior in support of or opposition to a speaker or his/her remarks is permitted.

3. Please mute or turn off your cell phone or other electronic devices at the start of the meeting. Failure to do so may result in being barred from the meeting. Persons exiting the Chambers shall do so quietly.

4. There is a three (3) minute time limit for each speaker during Public Comment and a two (2) minute time limit for each speaker during all other agenda items where Public Comment is permitted. Your cooperation is appreciated in observing these time rules. Please contact the Town Manager or appropriate administrative official in advance to arrange a meeting for matters that would require more than three minutes. Speakers should come forward to the podium, give their name and address, and the name and address of the organization they are representing if any.

5. On specific agenda items, speakers must stay on topic i.e., the specific subject matter, the specific contract, ordinance, or resolution in question. Speakers who go off-topic may be interrupted and have their comment time concluded.

6. Members of the public may not submit forms for comment on individual agenda items after the close of the Public Comment section of the agenda. Exceptions may be permitted at the discretion of the Presiding Officer.

7. The Presiding Officer has the authority to stop or interrupt any speaker who violates the rules, and to otherwise enforce these rules. If necessary, the Presiding Officer may have someone removed from the meeting. While individuals have a guaranteed right to address the Town Council, that right is tempered by the Town Council’s obligation to conduct business and get through the agenda, for the benefit of the Town and its residents.

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