Public Comment Policy Submitted to the County Commissioners
NOTE: This comment was originally posted in early April, but accidentally was erased from the blog. It is reproduced here, except for the comments made, which could not be recovered.)
We hope the County Commissioners will AGAIN begin hearing from the public, and not attempt to stifle it as did Chairman Yoder when his threats to have the Sheriff remove me made the Tulsa World. Speaking of that, Reporter Rhett Morgan is vacationing in California with his family, and will be back soon to continue his coverage of the MESTA mess. You can follow him on Facebook. But now for what I submitted to the Commissioners, with a copy to The Paper, and Daily Times. Share your thoughts on this policy with the Commissioners and the Press.
Commission Resolution Number 2014-______
PUBLIC COMMENT POLICY OF APRIL 2014
BE IT RESOLVED, by the Board of County Commissioners of Mayes County, Oklahoma, on this 14th day of April, 2014, as follows:
The Commission realizes that public input is important to their function as a County Commission to hear from members of the public.
Any public comment however, must be limited as to the time, and number of persons speaking, in order that we may have necessary time to conduct other business, and in order that the number of hours of a meeting must be reasonable.
With these factors in mind, we establish the following policy:
Persons appearing before the Board shall be recognized for a period not to exceed 4 minutes, however the time may be extended by consent of any Commissioner.
The Chairman, with the consent of another Commissioner may limit the number of persons speaking on an issue to a reasonable number of persons.
No action may be taken on any request regarding a matter which is not on the Agenda. Any Commissioner may request the matter be placed on an Agenda.
The Secretary shall place the following on each Agenda of the Board.
“PERSONS DESIRING TO ADDRESS THE BOARD: Time limited to 4 minutes, and number of persons speaking may be limited. No action will be taken on matters not on the Agenda.”
Approved this 14th day of April, 2014.
Attest: Board of County Commissioners
Brittany True-Howard, County Clerk
Darrell Yoder, Chairman
UPDATE: May 7, 2014
Well, I finally got to appear before the Commissioners, and make my 4 minute speech. After I was finished, Both Commissioners Alva, and Darrell both indicated they were not interested in having public comment item on their Agendas! Commissioner Ball indicated he was in favor of the resolution. No vote was taken since Darrell left this part out of my appearance. I had requested my topic be listed for discussion and vote to approve or disapprove. Guess they didn’t want to go on record. When Darrell runs next time would be really great ammo for his opponent to show the voters he was against letting them speak at meetings! Requests to add the policy to the Agenda for the following week for a vote were ignored!
A friend is securing copies of the Agendas from many public bodies in surrounding counties. We plan to submit this matter to the Commissioners soon, and request that they put the matter of adopting a public comment policy on the agenda. It is VERY important that numerous citizens contact the Commissioners (all 3) to ask them to ask them to adopt the policy. If I am the only “squeaky wheel” I’m not going to get greased!