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(A) Items of business shall be taken up at a meeting in the order that they appear on the agenda, except as provided in division (D) below.
(B) Items shall be placed on the agenda according to the “order of business” in conformity with subsection (H).
(C) Broad categories of business may be included as agenda items; examples included but are not limited to“members of the public wishing to be heard,” “matters by the Manager,” or “matters by the Attorney.”
(D) Items may be considered out of order by consent of all the members present or by majority vote upon a motion.
(E) Persons desiring to address the Council shall, if at all possible, call the office of the Town Clerk and give their names, addresses, and subject matters to be discussed and shall meet the agenda item request submission deadlines as set forth at § 30.06(A)(1) if they wish to appear as part of an agenda item. Such deadlines do not apply to a person addressing the Council as part of the “public comment” part of the meeting. Persons desiring to speak on an agenda item will be recognized to speak when the agenda item is reached if the agenda item authorizes the receipt of public comment or the Council, by majority vote, authorizes public comment in connection with a particular agenda item. No person, in addressing the Town Council, except as otherwise provided herein, shall be allowed to speak more than five minutes unless the presiding officer allows an extension of time. The presiding officer may, in his or her discretion, shorten the time for speaking when an unusually large number of persons have registered to speak.
(F) Any person wishing to address the Council at any regular meeting, who has not been authorized to address the Council as part of an agenda item, shall place his or her name on a sign up sheet available for this purpose. The person shall be entitled to speak under “Public Comment,” subject to the following rules and regulations:
(1) Speakers shall be recognized in the order in which they have signed up.
(2) During the public comment period, no person shall be allowed to speak for more than five minutes unless the presiding officer allows an extension of time. When the Mayor or other presiding officer determines that there are more speakers than can be reasonably heard during the 15-minute initial public comment period, the Mayor or presiding officer may limit each speaker's presentation to less than five minutes. Likewise, the Town Council, by motion and majority vote, may limit the time allotted to each speaker to less than five minutes and may grant a speaker more than five minutes to complete a public comment. Any person who wishes to address the Town Council but is unable to speak during the initial 15-minute public comment period due to the number of persons offering public comment who signed up ahead of that person shall be given an opportunity to address the Town Council at the conclusion of all business scheduled for open session, subject to the same procedures and rules which apply to the initial 15-minute public comment period.
(3) Should more than one person wish to make substantially the same comments regarding the same subject, or where a group of persons supports or opposes the same positions, the presiding officer may require that all persons designate a spokesperson for their group to address the Town Council, and the presiding officer may allot a larger amount of time for the presentation of the group position by the spokesperson.
(4) When the number of persons wishing to address the Town Council during the “public comment” period exceeds the number of people who can be safely accommodated within the Town Council chambers or other location of the meeting, the presiding officer may require that all persons select delegates from the groups of persons supporting or opposing the same positions to address the Town Council, and the presiding officer may allot a larger amount of time for the presentation of the group position by each delegate.
(5) All persons addressing the Town Council during the public comment period shall be treated respectfully by other persons in attendance at the meeting, and all speakers shall conduct themselves with proper decorum. Should any person present during a public comment period substantially interfere with the ability of a person offering public comment or engage in behavior which violates norms of accepted decorum, or should a person offering public comment engage in behavior which violates norms of accepted decorum, after warning the person(s) and, except in a situations where there is a risk of harm to any person present, providing the person(s) the opportunity to alter his, her, or their behavior to bring it into conformity with norms of accepted behavior, the presiding officer may direct that the person(s) be removed from the meeting. However, a person expressing positions which are critical of town policies or actions, or criticizing the Mayor, Town Council members, town staff, town officials, or town policies or actions shall not, on that basis alone, be considered to have engaged in behavior which violates norms of accepted decorum.
(6) Unless the agenda is amended in accordance with this section so as to allow action on an item raised during the public comment period, the matter presented by the speaker shall be for information.
(G) Items shall be placed on the agenda in the order directed by the Town Manager, and shall generally include: call to order; announcements; public hearings (other than quasi-judicial hearings); public comment; requested appearances; consent agenda adoption; quasi-judicial hearings; Council matters; announcements of vacancies to boards, commissions, task forces, advisory bodies, and committees; appointments to boards, commissions, task forces, advisory bodies, and committees; resolutions requesting appointments by the County Commission of ETJ members to the Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment; public comment not reached during the initial public comment period; closed session; and adjournment. By general consent of the Council or majority vote, items may be considered out of order and items not fitting into one of the named categories may be considered. The Council may, by unanimous vote of those present, add items to or subtract items from the proposed agenda, except that the Council may not add items to the proposed agenda stated in the notice of a special meeting called by the Mayor, Mayor Pro Tempore, and two Council members, unless all members are present and agree, or those who are absent sign a written waiver of notice, and all members who are present agree; and only business connected with an emergency may be considered at an emergency meeting. The Council shall not deliberate, vote, or otherwise take action on any matter by reference to a letter, number or other designation, or other secret device or method with the intention of making it impossible for persons attending a meeting of the Council to understand what is being deliberated, voted, or acted on. The Council may, however, deliberate, vote, or otherwise take action by reference to an agenda, if copies of the agenda, sufficiently worded to enable the public to understand what is being deliberated, voted, or acted on, are available for public inspection at the meeting.
(Ord. passed 4-20-2006; Ord. passed 6-19-2008; Ord. passed 1-15-2009; Ord. passed 3-20-2014; Ord. passed 2-19-2015; Ord. passed 10-20-2016)