Public Participation at Board Meetings

Public Act 96-1473 amends the Open Meetings Act effective January 1, 2011. The amendments to this law give any person the right to address public officials at a public meeting subject to the rules established by the public body. The Normal Township Board recognizes the value of public comments on township issues and the importance of allowing members of the public to express themselves on matters of community interest.

Therefore, the Board desires to have public comments during its regular board meetings. The Board also recognizes that its constituents, and any member of the public, are free at any time to communicate with the individual Board members by person meetings, telephone calls, letters and e-mails. The Board therefore shall seek public comments during regular board meetings to the extent that the public comments are not disruptive to the Board's business meeting.

The following rules shall provide for public participation during regular board meetings:

  1. Public participation shall be permitted as indicated on the meeting agenda as "Public Comments".
  2. Participants must be recognized by the Chairman before speaking. Speakers will be requested to state their name, address, or group affiliation before making their comments.
  3. Each statement made by a participant shall be limited to three(3) minutes duration. At the discretion of the Board, the person providing public comments may be allowed to comment beyond the allotted 3 minutes, or the Chairman may direct the person to submit further comments to the Chairman in writing for distribution to the Trustees at a later date. Comments provided in this matter should be sent to: Normal Township, Attention: Supervisor, P.O. Box 246, Normal, Illinois 61761.
  4. To ensure that all interested parties have an opportunity to speak, please be brief and limit your comments to one topic. Public comments should not be repetitious.
  5. Swearing, derogatory and abusive comments towards any person or the Board will not be tolerated and will be considered disruptive behavior that instantly forfeits the speaker's opportunity to speak.
  6. The Board reserves the right to immediately address the comments provided at the public meeting. Fair consideration will be given to the public comments and further research may be required before the Township Board takes any action regarding the public comments.
  7. The Board of Trustees further reserves the right to:
    • interrupt, warn, or terminate a participant's statement when the statement is too lengthy, personally directed, abusive, obscene, or irrelevant;
    • request by individual to leave the meeting when that person does not observe reasonable decorum;
    • call for a recess or an adjournment to another time when the lack of public decorum so interferes with the orderly conduct of the meeting as to warrant such action.

Policy adopted: April 24, 2011

Attest: Randall Schaab, Clerk & Richard Farr, Supervisor

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