Normal Council To Consider Less Lead Time For Public Comment | WGLT

Normal Council To Consider Less Lead Time For Public Comment

May 31, 2019

The Normal Town Council will consider making it easier for the public to comment at meetings of the council and other town boards and commissions.

City Manager Pam Reece said the council on Monday will take up shortening the amount of notice a resident must give to be eligible to speak.

"To have the opportunity to notify us up to 15 minutes prior to the start of the meeting. Whereas, previously people were required to notify the town no less than two hours before the start of the meeting," said Reece.

Public comments must relate to an agenda item.

"What this does is provide a little more accommodation to those who want to come to the meeting and speak," said Reece.

Total public comment time would remain at 20 minutes with a 3-minute per person individual limit. If there are too many people for the allotted time, there is a lottery for the available slots.

Here are the rules for public comment for municipal boards and commissions and the town council in Normal.

  1. All public comments must be germane to the meeting agenda of the public body.
  2. Any person wishing to present public comment at any meeting must provide advance notice of the comment to the City Manager’s office at least two hours prior to the beginning of the scheduled meeting, as stated on the agenda. The advanced notice must consist of the commenter’s name and the agenda item that the comment will address.
  3. The public-comment period for any single meeting may not exceed 20 minutes. If there are more speakers who have provided advance notice to the City Manager than the time limit will allow, then the speakers permitted to speak at that meeting will be determined by lottery.
  4. No person may speak for more than three minutes at any meeting.
  5. The chair may allow a person representing a group to speak on behalf of that group for no more than six minutes. Any person desiring this extended time period must so inform the City Manager when making the advance notice under item 2.
  6. The chair of the meeting shall determine the order of the speakers.
  7. The chair may create and enforce reasonable rules to preserve order and decorum (for example, prohibiting applause, sheering, booing, shouting, use of profanity, or the use of signs, banners, placards).
  8. Any person who violates these rules or who otherwise disrupts the order and decorum of the meeting may be removed.
  9. The chair may suspend the rules in order to provide more public comment, as he or she deems appropriate.

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