Public Input at Board Meetings
1) Public input can be expressed by emailing, writing, or calling Members, meeting with a Member, or speaking during the Public Comment portion of a Regular Meeting. Emails should be addressed to Board@csdecatur.net, a distribution list including all Members and the Superintendent.
2) Before addressing the Board, individuals are urged to seek a satisfactory solution to their concerns by following the proper staff and administrative channels.
3) The opportunity to address the Board during Public Comment is limited to District parents, students, residents, employees, businesses, and organizations.
4) Persons wishing to address the Board during Public Comment must sign in before the Public Comment period begins, and in doing so will be asked to state their connection to CSD and/or to the City of Decatur within the categories set forth in Paragraph (3) above.
5) To allow time for the Board’s other business, Public Comment will ordinarily be limited to one hour and 20 minutes. At the Board’s discretion, the comment period may be extended for a specified amount of time or a specific number of additional speakers.
6) The Chair will determine the time limit for all speakers at the beginning of Public Comment based on the total number wishing to speak. In no case will any speaker be given more than 5 minutes. Persons who fail to sign in prior to the Public Comment period may be allowed to speak at the Chair’s discretion if time permits.
7) Persons requiring technical assistance or any other support may request it from staff members present at the meeting.
8) Persons speaking during Public Comment will not be permitted to “yield the floor” or “transfer” unused time to other speakers.
9) Any group consisting of three or more persons wishing to make a longer presentation or to utilize display technology may request permission to do so by contacting the Superintendent’s office by 3 pm the day prior to the meeting. Such groups may be allocated additional time at the Chair’s discretion. The members of any group availing itself of this procedure must sign in before the Public Comment period begins.
10) Comments during Public Comment should be addressed to the Board as a body, and not to individual Members. At the Chair’s discretion, persons violating this policy may be asked to step down.
11) Speakers should be courteous and professional. Speakers may offer objective criticisms of school operations and programs, but the Board will not hear complaints about specific personnel or individuals connected with the District in a public session. Other channels provide a more appropriate forum for consideration and resolution of legitimate complaints involving individuals.
12) Individuals will not be denied the opportunity to address the Board on the basis of their viewpoint. However, the Board will not allow abusive language, threats, comments, jeers, 12 applause, or shouts from the floor. Disruptive persons will be asked to leave the meeting room. The Chair may terminate public comments that are profane, vulgar, defamatory, or disruptive.
13) Speakers may not address confidential student or personnel matters, but may submit such concerns to the Superintendent in writing.
14) Speakers are encouraged to provide the Board with a written copy of their comments and other appropriate supporting documentation.
15) When an issue arises that stimulates a high degree of community interest, the Board may schedule a Special Meeting or Work Session to solicit input following such procedures as the Board deems appropriate.
16) Members will not address persons presenting Public Comment or speak to the substance of any comments made, except to acknowledge the commenters and/or to ask questions for clarification.
17) The Board may establish other guidelines necessary for the efficient and orderly operation of Public Comment at any time.