Public Participation Policy
The Board of Trustees of the Harris-Elmore Public Library & Genoa Branch Library welcomes public input in its deliberations. The Board further recognizes both the importance of public comment on issues before the Board and the ability of members of the community to express their views on matters of interest to the library.
The Board is committed to conducting its meetings in a civil, orderly, efficient and productive manner designed to allow the Board’s regular agenda to be completed in a reasonable period of time while allowing a fair and adequate opportunity for public input to be considered.
Consequently, public participation at Board meetings will be governed by the following principles:
Any member of the public that wishes to speak at a Library Board of Trustees Meeting MUST notify the Library Director of their contact information and topic of interest at least 72 hours prior to the meeting so that it may be placed on the agenda.
Public participation at Board meetings is limited to the public comment portions of the meeting as indicated in the agenda. The time for public comment will generally be after Roll Call. At all other times during a Board meeting, the audience will not be recognized by the Board unless specifically requested to do so by the President of the Board (or other presiding officer).
Person wishing to address the Board must be physically present and register their names and topic on the sign-in sheet, which will be provided at the meetings. Speakers must fill out the sign-in sheet before they will be recognized. If an individual is unable to be present at a Board meeting, written comments from such individual will be received by the Secretary of the Board, prior to the conclusion of the meeting for submission or addition to the record.
Each person addressing the Board is limited to three minutes. Speakers will be taken until the allotted public comment time of 15 minutes is reached. No person will speak more than once per meeting. If an organization is present, only one spokesperson for that organization will be recognized as the speaker. The Board will not engage in argument or explanations with any speaker during the meeting. The Board President will introduce each speaker in the order that they signed in on the sheet. Another Board member will be the time keeper for each speaker present.
Persons addressing the Board are expected to observe a level of civility and decorum appropriate for a public meeting, and refrain from vulgar, profane, or harassing remarks. The President of the Board (or other presiding officer) may terminate any presentation deemed not to adhere to these standards.
Individuals will be thanked for their attendance and concerns. The Board of Trustees will let them know that a formal decision will be made in writing within 90 days if it has been requested. The public forum is over and the meeting can continue.
Failure to adhere to these principles may result in removal from the meeting.
Approved by the Harris-Elmore Public Library Board of Trustees January 8, 2024