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Supervisors adopt set rules for speakers

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

Pulaski County Board of Supervisors has officially adopted procedures for those who wish to speak or make a presentation at board meetings.

In making a motion to approve the procedures, Massie District Supervisor Andy McCready said a number of them were already board policy, “but this is a matter of getting them down in writing to make it clear and available for all people.”

Chairman Joe Sheffey of Cloyd District said the board believes the changes “will improve the ability of the board to hear citizen concerns prior to discussion of a specific issue. It will also allow for the undivided attention of the board.”

McCready added that the board has heard from some people attending the meetings that they feel they’ve not had the ability to be heard by the board. “This will clarify and make sure all members of the public have an opportunity to speak,” he said.

McCready added that the rules “represent an important step forward in offering all citizens in our county an opportunity to speak and hear the county’s business as it’s being conducted.”

Ingles District Supervisor Ranny O’Dell seconded McCready’s motion, which passed unanimously.

The list of procedures state that board meetings should be conducted in such a manner that “the Board is able to conduct the business of the county in an orderly and dignified manner and that county citizens have the ability to comment on matters prior to the deliberations of this Board and then to clearly hear the specific action taken by this Board.”

The procedures are as follows:

  1. The PA system will be turned on in the foyer so that audience members wishing to have private conversations may do so outside the Board Room without missing out on discussion of agenda items in the Board Room.

  2. Persons addressing the Board are asked to provide their name, address and the specific agenda item being addressed so that Board members can identify the district in which speakers live. The Board can in turn make notes about the specific agenda items being discussed and further so staff can properly mail information to citizens, should any follow-up be needed.

  3. Comments during the first public comment period should apply to specific items on the upcoming agenda so that the Board can appropriately consider those comments when taking action.  Thereafter, the Board will proceed in conducting the business of the county. Citizen concerns unrelated to specific agenda items will be heard during the last public comment period, prior to adjourning the meeting.

  4. In the second comment period, persons requesting time greater than three minutes will be scheduled as appropriate.

  5. No speaker may delegate (his or her) time to another speaker. 

  6. No speaker may speak twice in the same public comment period.

  7. Any person desiring to speak longer than five minutes is required to submit to county staff a full and complete outline of their presentation by noon at least one week prior to the Board meeting. Any audio or visual information must be submitted to county staff by noon one week prior to the scheduled Board meeting.  For the regular monthly Board meetings held on the fourth Monday of each month, that information must be submitted by noon on the third Monday. 

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