Right to Speak ordinance receives public hearing

Published: Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 10:31 AM.

Right to Speak

With little debate and little in the way of public comment, commissioners moved ahead an ordinance that puts into county law the public’s right to participate in public meetings.

Until the past year, when the Florida Legislature, after two years of delays, acted, the Florida Sunshine Law pertaining to public meetings did not specifically bestow on the public the right to speak.

The county ordinance conforms to that new legislation, and Novak said is similar to policies already in place.

The public must now be provided an opportunity to speak on board action noticed in the meeting agenda after commissioners and staff have weighed in and discussed the issue.

For action that was not noticed on the agenda, the ordinance also provides for public comment prior to any board vote.

An individual will be given three minutes to speak, and additional time can be granted by majority vote of the board.

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