BOCC set to consider public speaking ordinance

Published: Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 09:58 AM.

The courts have weighed in, the Florida Legislature followed and the Board of County Commissioners will follow suit.

The BOCC on Tuesday will consider, during a public hearing, an ordinance codifying policy on public speaking during County Commission meetings.

“This is not inconsistent with past policy,” said county attorney Jeremy Novak. “Now it will be county law.”

The ordinance would dictate that any public comment on any concern or proposition taken up by the BOCC be heard immediately after comments from staff and commissioners on the issue.

For any measure or action not on the printed agenda, public comment will be heard prior to board action and must be limited to the measure before the BOCC.

Public comment must also be directed to the chairman presiding over the BOCC meeting at the time and must not be directed at staff, individual commissioners or members of the audience.

BOCC meetings over the past year have been marked by numerous instances of individuals speaking about private citizens, in the audience and not, as well as comments directed at individual commissioners.

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