Public Appearance Policy
Public Comment Policy
As provided for under North Carolina General Statute §153A.52.1 (Public Comment During Regular Meetings) the Richmond County Board of Commissioners (hereinafter “Board”) adopts the rules found below regarding conduct during the public comment period. The Board does hereby establish a time frame of 30 minutes for public comment.
- Any Richmond County resident and/or property owner wishing to address the Board shall register with the Clerk to the Board of Commissioners (hereinafter “County Clerk”) their full name, address, contact information, and the topic about which they wish to speak on no later than 5:00PM on Friday before the regular monthly meeting. Any related documents, printed comments, or material the speaker wishes distributed to the Board shall be delivered to the County Clerk in sufficient amounts (8 copies) no later than 5:00PM on Friday before the regular monthly meeting.
- The agenda for the upcoming regular monthly meeting will be posted no later than 5:00PM on the Wednesday before the regular monthly meeting.
- The 30-minute time frame will be limited to individuals speaking for no more than 5 minutes each, and groups addressing the Board shall be limited to a 10-minute presentation with no more than 2 speakers. It is recommended that groups or delegations select their spokesperson(s) in advance of the meeting and must notify the County Clerk with their information. The County Clerk is the designated timekeeper who will begin timing the speaker and will announce “time” when the allotted time expires.
- Public comments will be restricted to the business and activities of the county. Every speaker will be held responsible for his or her comments and if deemed inappropriate (such as slanderous or libelous remarks), the Chair may revoke the individual’s right to speak.
- Public comment is not intended to require the Board to answer any impromptu questions. Speakers should expect the Board to refrain from engaging in a dialogue, except to the extent necessary to clarify speaker’s position. The Board will not entertain questions or comments called out from the audience. When appropriate, the Board may refer inquiries and items brought up during the public comment to the County Manager for follow up. Speakers will address all comments to the Board as a whole and not to one individual commissioner. Discussions between speakers and the audience will not be allowed. There will be no public debate nor audience response to comments made during this portion of the agenda.
- Speakers who have prepared written remarks or supporting documents are encouraged to leave a copy of such remarks and documents with the County Clerk.
- The open forum shall not be used to discuss any of the following: 1) matters which concern the candidacy of any person seeking public office, including the person addressing the Board; 2) a request that the Board consider funding a certain program or activity, either from the current budget or from a future budget; 3) matters in current or anticipated litigation; 4) matters or comments which are harmful, discriminatory or embarrassing to any citizen(s), official(s) or employees of Richmond County; 5) shall be no discussion of matters to be “closed session” type issues. (Ex. Personnel matters, litigation, property acquisition, attorney-client privilege matters made confidential by law) and matters which are subject of public hearings. Speaker must be respectful and courteous in the remarks and must refrain from personal attacks and the use of profanity. Willfully interrupting, disturbing, or disrupting a meeting and refusing to leave when directed to do so by the Chair is a criminal offense.
- Any applause will be held until the end of the public comment period.
Adopted the 6th of Day of October, 1997
Amended the 1st Day of February, 1999
Amended the 20th day of May, 2008
Amended the 17th Day of February 2011
Amended the 1st Day of February 2022
Dena R. Cook, NCCCC
Clerk to the Board of Commissioners