Public Input Guidelines
The Sanitary District of Decatur welcomes Public Input during open meetings of the Board of Trustees. The District is required to conduct all business during public meetings. The purpose of these guidelines is to provide a forum for the public to provide input to the Board of Trustees during public meetings with reasonable predefined standards. The presiding officer is responsible for conducting meetings in an orderly and efficient manner. Public Input will be taken in the following ways:
- Webinar Input (If webinar is being used by any members of the public body)
Click on the link provided on the District’s online agenda to join the Webinar. You must provide your name in order to join the Webinar. If you wish to speak during Public Input, “raise your hand” by pressing the corresponding icon and wait to be called on by the meeting host. You must state your first and last name for the meeting record. Participants will be muted except when they are called on to speak; video will remain off for all members of the public when speaking.
- Email Input
Public comments must be received prior to the closing of the meeting record (at the time of adjournment unless otherwise noted) at the following: email@example.com. The subject line of the email must include the words “PUBLIC INPUT” and the meeting date. Your email will be sent to all Board of Trustees members and the Executive Director / CFO. Emailed public comments labeled as such will be incorporated into the public meeting record, with personal identifying information redacted. Copies of emails will be posted after the meeting minutes have been approved.
- Written Input
Any member of the public may submit their comments addressed to the members of the public body in writing. If a person wishes their written comments to be included in the record of Public Input for the meeting, the writing should so state. Written comments must be received prior to the closing of the meeting record (at the time of adjournment unless otherwise noted).
- Verbal Input
Protocol for Public Input is one of respect for the process, and respect for others. Ridicule, obscene or profane language, lack of respect for others, and personal attacks are not acceptable behavior. Public Input shall not be used to air personal grievances. Speakers should address all comments to the public body as a whole and not to individual members or District staff. Public comment shall be limited to no more than four (4) minutes per person. The Public Input portion of the meeting shall total no more than one (1) hour, unless otherwise shortened or extended by majority vote of the public body members present. The presiding officer or their designee, shall monitor each speaker’s use of time and shall notify the speaker when the allotted time has expired. A person may participate and provide Public Input once during a meeting and may not cede time to another person, or split their time if Public Input is held at two (2) or more different times during a meeting. The presiding officer may give priority to those persons who indicate they wish to speak on an agenda item upon which a vote will be taken. The presiding officer or public body members will not exchange in a dialogue with citizens. Questions from the public body members shall be for clarification purposes only. Public Input shall not be used as a time for problem solving or reacting to comments made but, rather, for hearing citizens for informational purposes only.
If an accommodation is needed to participate in a District meeting, please contact the Administrative Office Coordinator at 217-422-6931 or firstname.lastname@example.org at least 48 hours in advance so that special accommodations can be evaluated. The District will make all reasonable attempts to implement requested accommodations.
- Reasonable Conduct
ln order to maintain reasonable decorum at a meeting, the presiding officer or any member of the public body may call a speaker “out of order”. The presiding officer of the meeting shall have the authority to provide a verbal warning to a speaker who uses abusive, harassing, threatening, or defamatory language, or who engages in disorderly conduct that disrupts, disturbs, or otherwise impedes the orderly conduct of a meeting. If the speaker refuses to cease such remarks or conduct after being warned by the presiding officer, the presiding officer shall have the authority to mute the speaker’s microphone and/or video presence at the meeting. The presiding officer will inform the speaker that they may send the remainder of their remarks via email to the public body for inclusion in the meeting record.