Public Comments at Board Meetings
The Board of Trustees of the Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District encourages and is interested in hearing from the public and provides the opportunity for the public to speak during the Public Comment section of the meeting.
The following rules shall govern speakers who address the Board:
- Speakers may share their comments in person or virtually. Individuals who cannot attend due to a disability or who require disability related accommodations to allow them to share their comments are asked to contact the library in advance, if possible, to allow the library to try to arrange reasonable accommodations.
- Members of the public wishing to speak in person are urged but not required to sign in with the Library Director or Board President prior to the commencement of the Board Meeting and provide their name, address and topic on which they wish to speak. If applicable, the individual will provide the organization or association with which they are affiliated.
- Public participation and comment will be permitted during the “Public Comment” portion of the Agenda.
- The Board President or person presiding over the meeting will ask if anyone wishes to address the Board and will determine the order in which the speakers are recognized. In order to promote effective and efficient “Public Comment,” preference will be given to speakers who sign in.
- The time allowed for each person to speak will be three (3) minutes. Speakers are asked to strictly adhere to time allocated and to be brief and to the point.
- Speakers may provide written comments to the Board. Requests to append written statements or correspondence to the meeting minutes will not be honored as meeting minutes are a summary of the Board’s discussion and actions. Written materials presented to the Board may be included in the Board’s files but will not be attached to the meeting minutes. All meetings are recorded, and the recordings are posted on the library website following the meetings.
- Groups are asked to designate a single spokesperson.
- Any individual may record statements made during the Public Comment Period; however, recordings should be conducted in such a manner so as not to interfere with the business of the Board.
- Board members will generally not respond to comments from speakers. The Board President or other presiding officer may respond as appropriate and, for example, ask questions for clarification or direct speakers to the appropriate staff member for assistance. Issues requiring possible action by the Board may be added to a future agenda. Issues that may need to be addressed by the administration will be duly noted.
- Individuals addressing the Board must at all times adhere to the library policies and other rules as may be necessary for the efficient and orderly conduct of the meeting.
- Members of the public should not discuss individual personnel issues or confidential patron matters, and the speakers’ concerns or comments should be limited to library business. Comments on the performance of specific library employees must be addressed to the Library Director separate from the Board meeting. When needed, discussion with the Board about an employee will be held in closed Executive Session.
- All public comment shall be addressed to the Board as a whole and no comments shall be addressed to individual members of the Board, Library staff or other members of the public.
- Abusive, profane, frivolous, harassing and/or repetitive comments and/or personal attacks will not be permitted and shall promptly be ruled out of order by the President or other presiding officer.
- The Board vests in the Board President or presiding officer, the authority to terminate the remarks of speakers who fail to adhere to the above rules. Failure to adhere to the above rules or other Library policies may result in removal of the speaker from Library property, if attending a meeting in person.
- Anyone may address the Board, or any individual member of the Board, in writing at any time using the Board’s email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Board of Trustees appreciates all who participate in open and orderly meetings.
Adopted: December 6, 2010, Special Library Board Meeting
Updated: February 21, 2022