McDONOUGH — What can be discussed and for how long during public comment at Board of Commissioners meetings has changed.
The board voted 4-1 to make the changes, with Commissioner Johnny Wilson against the ordinance amendment.
Previously residents had up to five minutes to speak on any subject related to county business.
Now, residents have three minutes and topics are limited to the current or most recent previous agendas.
Additionally, residents who wish to speak must notify in writing or via email the county clerk by noon the day prior to the meeting.
To accommodate the changes, Wilson asked the board to consider placing public comments at the top of the agenda “so people can talk about the agenda” prior to board discussion and voting.
Historically, public comment takes place at the end of the meeting agenda.
County Attorney Patrick Jaugstetter said the ordinance does not address when comments can be heard, adding it would be up to the board chair to determine where they are placed on the agenda.
The changes were suggested by Commissioner Dee Clemmons during the board’s March 9 meeting in response to previous speakers “abusing the time to demean or say horrible things about commissioners.”
To participate in public comment portion of the virtual meeting, speakers must pre-register with County Clerk Stephanie Braun by emailing her at email@example.com.