Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The rules and fine example how to give public comment at the City Commission.

There is an instructional video (see below), an excellent example how to give public comment at the City Commission meeting tonight. The simple rule is: Be respectful and follow the rules. Don’t hesitate to ask people around you if they understand the rules for giving public comment.

It’s not unusual for someone to get “cold feet” if it’s the first time at the podium. It that happens just raise your hand until the mayor sees you. She will understand and read your comments into the record for you. Always be respectful to the Chair, Mayor Pam Triolo, and most importantly:

The time limit is two (2) minutes. When you hear a little bell your time is up. Please be courteous to the mayor and return to your seat. 

Over and over again people have to be reminded about the 2-minute limit and yet, over and over again the very same ones get either perturbed or confused when that little bell rings. The lesson here is prepare your remarks ahead of time using a timer (most cell phones have timers).

When the little bell rings, if you haven’t finished your comment, hand your card to City Manager Bornstein and ask him to have it entered into the record. Your card will then be given to the City Clerk.

Note how City resident Kathy Turk approached issues of importance to her. She didn’t get angry. She didn’t point fingers. And she didn’t put anyone “on the hot seat”. Read the bullet list and then watch the video for yourself:
  • At the 10:50 mark (click play and go to the minute marks) she begins her comment at the January 10th City Commission meeting.
  • At the 11:50 mark she begins speaking about the issue of unanswered emails and phone calls.
  • At the 12:50 mark about the pay increase for elected officials, she says, “. . . the pay is well worth the hours you put in.” She should know having 25 years of experience in Human Resources.
Hope you find this video helpful: