RULES OF CONDUCT AT PUBLIC HEARINGS
1. COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS:
• Oral Comments. The Town Clerk will maintain a sign-in sheet at the public information desk for each person who wishes to make oral comments. Anyone who wants to do so must enter his/her full name and address on the sign-in sheet, in the spaces provided. ANYONE NOT SIGNING THE SIGN-IN SHEET WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO ADDRESS COMMENTS TO THE TOWN BOARD.
• Questions. The Chairperson will entertain questions from the floor. Questions shall be for the sole purpose of obtaining information about the subject matter of the public hearing or clarifying its provisions. Questions shall not have the intent of provoking a debate between the questioner and the Town Board or any individual in the audience
• Written Comments. The Town Board will accept written comments on the subject matter of the public hearing PROVIDED ALL WRITTEN COMMENTS ARE GIVEN TO THE CHAIRPERSON BY THE END OF THE PUBLIC HEARING.
PRESENTATION OF COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS:
Presiding Officer. The Town Supervisor or designee will preside over the public hearing, and act as Chairperson. In his/her absence, the Deputy Town Supervisor or designee will act as the Chairperson.
GROUND RULES FOR THE PRESENTATION OF COMMENTS
The purpose of a public hearing is to gather public comment on proposed Local Law #2 of 2009 - Creation of a Planning Board. The Board encourages all in attendance to offer comments and ask questions. However, a successful public hearing requires that some simple ground rules be followed. These ground rules will ensure that all in attendance are treated in a respectful and courteous manner, and that all who desire to speak will have the opportunity to be heard:
• No one may speak unless recognized by the Chairperson for that purpose. Upon recognition, the person must identify him/herself by clearly stating his/her full name and address.
• Anyone choosing to speak must address his/her remarks to the Town Board, and not to other members of the audience. Any debate between those "for" and those "against" the proposal must be strictly avoided.
• Oral comments can generally be delivered in five minutes. If there are a large number of persons wishing to speak, the Chairperson reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to strictly enforce the 5-minute rule, so that all who wish to speak may have an opportunity to do so.
• The Town Board is here to listen to the public's comments, and to answer questions about the subject of the hearing. The Board is NOT here to express its own views or opinions thereon. The Board will NOT participate in a debate of the issues. We want your advice and assistance in coming to the proper conclusion on the issues involved. If you are in favor, simply tell us and give us your reasons why; and likewise, if you are opposed.
• No person has the right to demand an answer to a specific question from a member of the Board. As noted earlier, questions should seek clarification and information and should not lead to a debate of the issues. All questions are to be directed to the chairperson, who may either answer them or refer them to a Board member or the Attorney for the Town. The answer may be deferred and subject to further review or study and answered at a later date.
• No person may speak a second time until everyone who wants to speak has spoken.
• No member of the public or Town Board shall engage in any demonstration, booing, handclapping, or otherwise disrupt the formality of the public hearing.
The Town Clerk will be responsible for ensuring that these rules are followed.
ANYONE VIOLATING ANY OF THESE GUIDELINES WILL BE ASKED TO REFRAIN FROM DOING SO, AND MAY, IN THE SOLE DISCRETION OF THE CHAIRPERSON, BE ASKED TO LEAVE THE PUBLIC HEARING."