Public Hearing and Comments

IMG_6222.JPGDuring the regular Board meetings, held on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month, the public is allowed to speak during both the Public Hearing and Comments from the Public sections. Each section has its own published guidelines on public testimony.

Public Hearing
During the Public Hearing section, citizens may speak for or against an item that is considered by law to be a zoning ordinance and each side will have ten minutes to present its case.

Citizens may also speak for or against an item that is placed on the public hearing agenda but is not a zoning ordinance. In that case, each side will have five minutes to present its case. In the event that there is more than one speaker per side, speakers must divide their time in order to complete their full presentation within the ten-minute time allotment, or the five-minute time allotment. When the buzzer sounds to indicate that time has expired, the speaker will be expected to immediately cease speaking and to leave the podium area. Prior to speaking, please complete a speaker card and present it when approaching the podium.

If you have any documents for the Commissioners, please provide 10 copies when approaching the podium. Seven copies are for the Commissioners and the remaining copies are for the planning director, the county attorney, and the clerk. Applicants or citizens speaking in favor of an item shall speak first and applicants in zoning ordinance cases shall have the right to reserve time for rebuttal. Opponents of a zoning ordinance item shall have no right of rebuttal.

Once the citizens have finished speaking, staff shall make a recommendation for action to the commission. At this point, citizens are no longer allowed to speak unless called to the podium by an individual commissioner to answer questions or provide information.

When speaking, always talk directly into the microphone and begin by stating your name, address, and the name of any organization you represent. Abusive, profane, or derogatory language will not be permitted. Holding up signs, clapping, and yelling to show support for or opposition to a speaker will not be permitted, but a show of hands or quietly standing will be permitted to show support for or opposition to a speaker's position.

Comments from the Public
The Public Comments section of the meetings is reserved exclusively for comments from the public, and not for immediate reply.

Statements made during the Public Comments portion do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Board or the Administration of DeKalb County Government. The purpose of public comment is to allow the public to voice county-related requests, concerns, or opinions during the public comment portion of the Commission meeting. Individual speakers will only have the opportunity for one public comment per meeting. Prior to speaking, each speaker must complete a speaker card and present it to the clerk before the beginning of the public comment portion of the meeting. The clerk will accept cards on a first-come, first-served basis.

Speakers who are residents of DeKalb County will be allowed to speak before residents of other counties are allowed to speak. Once the public comment portion of the meeting begins, speaker cards will no longer be accepted. Speakers will be allowed to speak for three minutes each and public comment will not exceed 30 minutes in length. When the buzzer sounds to indicate that time has expired, the speaker will be expected to immediately cease speaking and to yield the podium. Those who submitted speaker cards but did not speak because of the time allotment will be allowed to speak first at the next regularly scheduled commission meeting without regard to residence.

For more information about scheduling this opportunity, please speak with a member of the Clerk's staff. If you would like to fill out a written comment concerning county-related service complaints, this will help the governing authority to forward the complaints to the appropriate department for follow-up.

When speaking, always talk directly into the microphone and begin by stating your name, address, and the name of any organization you represent. Abusive, profane, or derogatory language will not be permitted. Holding up signs, clapping, and yelling to show support for or opposition to a speaker will not be permitted, but a show of hands or quietly standing will be permitted to show support for or opposition to a speaker's position.