Policy Regarding Public Participation at Board of Trustees Meetings
Meetings of the King County Library System (the “Library”) Board of Trustees (the “Board”) are open to the public and are noticed and held in accordance with Washington’s Open Public Meetings Act (RCW 42.30). The Board encourages public participation in its meetings and has adopted this policy to facilitate the fair and orderly expression of public comments.
The Board generally meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month. The annual schedule of Board meetings and the location of each meeting is available at http://www.kcls.org/about/board/. Also, meeting agendas are posted on the website approximately 7 days before each meeting.
The Board will receive public testimony during the first thirty (30) minutes of each Board meeting; however, this period may be modified at the discretion of the Board President. The procedures set forth below summarize the guidelines applicable to the public testimony period of each Board meeting.
A. GENERAL GUIDELINES
1. Any person wishing to speak at a Board meeting must register on the speaker sign-up sheet prior to the start of such meeting and must indicate his/her full name, address, whether he/she is speaking in his/her individual capacity or as a representative of a group, and the topic he/she will address. (Each speaker also will be asked to indicate whether he/she would like to receive follow-up information from the Library relevant to such topic.)
2. Each speaker will be allowed up to three (3) minutes to testify, except that an individual representing an organization or association will be allowed up to five (5) minutes.
3. Testimony will be grouped by agenda item and will be heard in the order in which such items appear on the meeting agenda. Individuals wishing to address items that do not appear on the agenda will be given the opportunity to speak if there is time remaining during the public testimony period, after speakers addressing agenda items have offered their testimony.
4. Amongst individuals testifying on the same topic, testimony will be taken
on a first-come, first-served basis.
5. If more individuals sign up to speak than can be accommodated during the time set aside for public testimony, the President may, in his/her discretion, limit the number of individuals speaking on each subject and/or reduce the time allocated to each speaker, in order to allow more individuals the opportunity to speak and to ensure that the Board is able to hear testimony regarding multiple agenda items.
6. Any individual may submit written testimony, comments, questions or requests at any time, regardless of whether he/she also offers oral testimony. Trustees may direct written submissions to Library staff to research, respond and/or report back.
7. The President may:
a. Call a speaker to order if his/her statement is too lengthy or is abusive, obscene or otherwise inappropriate.
b. Request that a speaker leave the meeting if he/she refuses to come to order.
c. Request that any individual leave the meeting if he/she does not observe reasonable decorum;
d. Request the assistance of Library security or law enforcement in the removal of a disorderly person who has previously been asked to leave and refused the request.
e. Call for a recess or adjournment to another time, if the lack of public decorum rises to such level that it interferes with the orderly conduct of the meeting.
8. The Board does not engage in discussion or debate with speakers during the public testimony period or business portion of their meetings.
B. Executive Session
The Board may recess to an executive session to discuss or receive briefings from staff regarding real estate, personnel, litigation or other matters pursuant to and consistent with Washington’s Open Public Meetings Act (RCW 42.30).
C. Special Needs Requests
All special needs requests should be directed to Maria Hatcher, Assistant to the Director (425.369.3233 or Maria Hatcher). The Library will attempt to honor the following special needs requests when made at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to a meeting:
1. Requests for an interpreter to accommodate hearing-impaired persons.
2. Requests for an interpreter to accommodate non-English speaking persons.
3. Reasonable requests for access to technology to be used by a speaker in connection with his/her testimony (e.g., a computer and projector).
D. Public Forums
Members of the public are invited to share their comments and concerns with members of the Board and Administration about library-related issues. The staff will be asked to respond to main topics and the Board will take the comments and responses under advisement. The forum will be conducted to maximize public input and participation. All are asked to be courteous of others, to listen to each other and to focus on the highest good of the entire library community, both for the present and the future.
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Last Updated: July 18, 2012