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4 - Non-Agenda Memo: Guidelines for Public HearingsNON-AGENDA MEMO WRAB MEETING AUGUST 20, 2007 TO: WRAB Members FROM: Ned Williams DATE: August 14, 2007 RE: Guidelines for Public Hearings At the WRAB meeting on July 26, 2007, the WRAB requested some information about Guidelines related to public hearings. 1. Excerpts from the Boulder Revised Code, as it applies to City Council meetiugs: Public Participation. (Three-minute limit per person, on a first-come, first-served basis). • Public Participation is a time set aside for the public to address the council concerning city business not otherwise on the agenda for public hearing. • When Public Participation is closed prior to all persons signed up having an opportunity to speak, such persons are accommodated, if possible, a8er the last public hearing item on the agenda or given priority at the next Public Participation period, usually two weeks later. • The council reviews Public Participation and assures that an appropriate response is given if the council feels that a response is required, usually immediately following the Public Participation period. • Staff and council responses are discouraged at the meeting, except for referral to the staff for further analyses and reports and ultimate council decisions on a future agenda. Three-Minute Rule. During Public Participation or public hearings, members of the public are recognized by the mayor. No person shall make a presentation (not including council questions) longer than three minutes, unless given permission by the mayor before beginning to speak. The mayor may limit speakers to less than three minutes when deemed advisable by the CAC and notice of the shorter time limit is generally provided by publication or otherwise in advance of the meeting. Pooline of Time. Speakers will not generally be permitted to "pool" their time. Permission may be granted if the mayor determines that substantial time can be saved thereby and issues better addressed in order to facilitate public participation and council decision making. Speakers desiring to "pool" their time will not be granted the full pooled total, but a proportion determined by the mayor, in light of the complexity of the issues to be addressed and the projected time saved from the pooling. Normally, pooled time will not be granted unless at least three persons request it, all of whom otherwise would have testified. All persons wishing to pool their time must be present at the meeting in order for the mayor to recognize pooled time. Five minutes is Page 1 the standard for pooled time, and no pooled time presentation will be permitted to exceed ten minutes total. No Personal Attacks. All councihnembers, staff members, and members of the public are requested to direct their remarks to the council action that they are requesting. Speakers engaging in personal attacks may be interrupted by the mayor. 2. General Guidelines from other agencies • A public hearing is all or any portion of any public meeting during which public comment is invited. Public hearings may be held on legislative matters. • Public hearings are not intended to be a time for the public to ask questions or obtain information about the subject matter of the hearing. Rather, public hearings are for the public to provide the Council with information. Members of the public are expected to obtain in advance of the public hearing whatever information they may need in order to provide meaningful comments at the hearing. • Afrer all persons have spoken, the hearing is closed to further public comment, and the Council proceeds with its deliberations and decision making. • To give everyone a fair and equitable chance to speak in an orderly fashion • Address your comments to the Council, not to others in the room. Please restrict your comments to the issue being considered and not to personalities or other non-related matters. • Refrain from displays of support or opposition. • Refrain from carrying on a conversation while a speaker is addressing the Council. • No jeering or cheering from the audience Page 2