DAVIE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
Public Comment Policy
- The Davie County Board of Commissioners recognizes the importance of remaining open to issues of public concern relating to the work and operation of Davie County government and the need to balance this openness with the need to conduct meeting and public business in an orderly manner so that decisions are made timely and after all information is considered.
- Public comments are encouraged at all regular monthly meetings of the Davie County Board of County Commissioners, and as such, the Commissioners are appreciative for the presence and participation of each individual in the public comment period and for the courtesy and cooperation of each speaker in abiding by the procedures hereinafter set forth by the Commissioners.
- In order to govern the orderly conduct of the public comment period, the Board of County Commissioners feels it is reasonable and necessary to adopt reasonable rules for such Public Comment Period.
WHEREFORE, the Davie County Board of County Commissioners hereby adopt the following rules governing the conduct of public comments at its regular monthly meeting of the Board:
1. Thirty minutes before each regular monthly meeting of the Board of County Commissions of Davie County, a sign-up sheet shall be placed on the podium in the Davie County Commissioners meeting room on the second floor of the Administrative Office Building located at 123 South Main Street, Mocksville, North Carolina for anyone wishing to speak at the regular monthly meeting during the public comment period. In the event the regular monthly meeting location has changed, the sign-up sheet shall be placed on the podium at the changed location of the meeting. There shall be no advanced sign-ups allowed before this time.
2. Each person desiring to speak during the public comment shall sign up on the sign-up sheet provided and shall state fully their name, and topic on which he or she desire to speak. If the speaker has already discussed the topic with a particular staff member before the meeting, he or she shall identify the name of the staff member.
3. All speakers will be acknowledged by the Board or its designee in the order in which their names appear on the sign-up sheet.
4. Each speaker shall be allowed a total of three (3) minutes to speak and shall immediately stop when his or her three (3) minutes are up. If the speaker does not stop at the end of his/her time period, the speaker shall be considered as interrupting or disrupting a meeting under N.C.G.S. 143-318.17 and shall be subject to the criminal laws of the State of North Carolina. In the event the speaker is speaking for an organized group, the speaker shall be allowed a total of five (5) minutes. All organized groups shall designate a single representative speaker so as to economize time and avoid duplication. In the event several individuals have signed up for the same topic and one or more individuals wish to yield their time to a subsequent speaker, then in that event, the subsequent speaker shall be considered as a speaker for an organized group and shall be allowed a total of five (5) minutes only.
5. The Board shall designate a time keeper, who shall begin timing the speaker when the speaker states his or her name and will announce “time” when the allotted time has expired. The speaker shall stop at that time.
6. The speaker shall address the Board as a whole and shall not ask for any verbal exchange back from the Board. It is not the intent of public comments to require the Board to answer any impromptu questions. There shall be no discussion between the speakers and members of the audience.
7. All comments shall be in verbal form and the speaker shall not be allowed to play any recorded or video devices during such comments. All speakers are expected to observe the decorum of the Meeting, to be respectful in their language and presentation and to refrain from the use of profanity or shouting or from making disclosures prohibited by the Personnel Act with respect to any County employee. Willfully violation of the law or interrupting or disrupting of the meeting can result in criminal charges being brought under N.C.G.S. 143-318.17.
8. All comments by a speaker shall be limited to subjects that are within the jurisdiction of the Davie County Board of County Commissioners, or pertain to matters upon which it may act.
9. Topics which would require the Board to hold a closed session , (including but not limited to matters within the attorney-client privilege, anticipated or pending litigation, personnel, property acquisition and matters which are made confidential by law), are not permitted as topics for public comments.
10. The speaker must make all presentations from the podium provided and shall not be allowed to physically approach the Board or staff member without the express invitation by the Chair or other designated presiding officer of the Board.
11. Any applause will be held until the end of the Public Comment Period.
12. A total of thirty (30) minutes shall be allocated by the Board for Public Comments at each regular monthly meeting of the Board of County Commissioners. Upon Motion duly made and adopted, the Board may extent the thirty (30) minute time period for any particular meeting.
13. If the time period runs out before all persons who have signed up to speak has had an opportunity to do so, then those names will be carried over to the next Public Comment Period.
14. This Policy on Public Comment shall be made available to the public 30 minutes before each regular monthly meeting and shall be placed on the County Website along with the public agenda of each regular monthly meeting at least 24 hours before each regular monthly meeting.
Revised: October 5, 2020