Policies vary for meeting appearances

Published 5:00 am Monday, June 19, 2006

Local elected officials desire to maintain clear communicationwith the public, and open meetings offer city and county residentsthe option of speaking to leaders about their concerns.

Local governing boards have varying policies and procedures thatare important to maintaining order and punctuality.

The Brookhaven Board of Aldermen requests that people wishing toaddress the board call the mayor’s office before noon on Thursdaybefore a Tuesday meeting. The person’s name, phone number andconcern to be addressed will be requested at that time.

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“The board gets the agenda on Friday before the meeting,” CityClerk Michael Jinks said. “It gives them time to research theissues before hand.”

Each person is limited to a three-minute presentation.

“If the aldermen have discussion or questions, that does nottake away from their time,” Jinks said.

Aldermen meet the first and third Tuesday of each month at 6:30p.m.

The Lincoln County Board of Supervisors has a different way ofdoing things.

No time limitations exist for addressing the board ofsupervisors. Chancery Clerk Tillmon Bishop said county officialsask those addressing the board to consolidate their petitions butthere is no time limit.

The board of supervisors requests that notification be given tothe board on the Friday before their Monday meeting. However, it isnot required.

“Board meetings are a way for elected officials to stay close tothe people who elected them,” Bishop said. “That’s why there are sofew limitations placed on that meeting.”

Supervisors meet the first and third Mondays of each month at 9a.m.

The Lincoln County School District board of trustess asks that aletter in writing requesting to see the board be submittedWednesday before a Monday night meeting. Each person is given 10minutes to address the board.

If a decision from the board is requested, the board willdiscuss the matter and notify the person or persons of the finaldecision, Lincoln County School District officials said.

The county school board meets the first and third Mondays ofeach month at 5 p.m.

Brookhaven School District office requires an application forplacement on board agenda be completed 10 days before a boardmeeting. Superintendent Lea Barrett said that many times a problemcan be addressed before a meeting.

“The intent of (10 days notice) is to try to resolve a problemat the lowest level possible,” she said.

Other requirements include a maximum amount of allotted time onthe agenda. Those addressing the board may not exceed a 15-minutetime limit, Barrett said.

“It allows sufficient time for an individual to present aproblem, but still allows the board to have sufficient time toaddress the usual business of the board in a timely manner,” shesaid.

Usually, the city school board meets the fourth Tuesday of eachmonth at 6 p.m. However, this month the board is meeting tomorrowat 6 p.m.

Barrett cited the importance of being available to parents.

“Parental opinion and involvement is very important to thisboard and they seek that,” she said.