Board of Directors Regular Meeting Agenda


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Meeting Date: 01/27/2016  

SUBJECT MATTER:
Receive, consider and act upon an amendment to the Township Board rules regarding public comment (as requested by Director Bass);
FISCAL IMPACT:
BACKGROUND:
At the Board meeting on December 10, 2015, at the request of Director McMullan, the Township reviewed the Board’s Public Comment Policy and related statutory provisions.

Legal counsel found that there is no statutory provision that requires the Board to allow public comment as part of the Township Board meeting agenda. However, since the Board has established a policy that allows public comment at Board meetings, Director McMullan requested that legal counsel review whether this permissive action by the Board provides statutory rights to the speaker during public comment to speak on any subject and address the Board without being encumbered by the Board imposed rules. The review by legal counsel indicates that there are no additional statutory and limited constitutional rights provided as a result of the Board allowing public comment and that the Board has the right to define and enforce its rules for public comment.

As currently provided within the Board rules, a member of the public is provided the right to address the Board during the public comment segment of the Township Board meeting and is allotted three minutes to speak, speakers may yield their time to another speaker on the list and no more than nine minutes per subject will be allowed and the total time for public comment is limited to 30 minutes.

At the conclusion of discussion at the December 10 meeting, the Board opted to strike the requirement that speakers present all comments in a “brief, courteous and respectful manner” and added a provision that speakers will not use profanity and a provision that the speaker may address the entire Board or an individual Director. The guidelines are attached as approved at the December 10 meeting.

Following the December 10 meeting, Director Bass asked that the public comment guidelines be revisited at the January meeting to consider additional revisions to the policy. Attached is an email from Director Bass outlining his considerations and his draft revisions to the public comment guidelines. 
RECOMMENDATION:
Board to determine action.
Attachments
Guidelines approved by the Board at the December 10, 2015 meeting
Email from Director Bass regarding requested changes
Revised guidelines as proposed by Director Bass


    

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