Adopted, Library Board of Trustees, October 17, 2023
Public Comment Policy (PDF)
The East Greenbush Community Library Board of Trustees welcomes input from members of the public at public hearings, board meetings, and committee meetings. This policy outlines the guidelines for public comments during these meetings to ensure that individuals have a chance to express their views and provide input as the Board conducts library business.
- The agenda for each Board of Trustees’ meeting will include a 15-minute Public Comment period at the beginning of the meeting. An additional Public Comment period may be added at the end of the meeting if it is deemed necessary to accommodate public comments. The Board President or designee may adjust the duration of the Public Comment period.
- Members of the public are invited to express their views during the Public Comment period of the meeting. Those who wish to speak shall sign in prior to the start of the meeting with their name, town of residence, and the topic of their comments. If they are representing a group, they should specify the group’s name.
- In cases where individuals cannot attend in person, they may submit their comments to the library director via email or phone, provided that they do so no later than 24 hours before the meeting begins.
- The Board President or their designee will determine the order in which individuals are recognized to speak.
- Each individual speaking during the Public Comment period will be given a maximum of three (3) minutes to share their comments. Board President or their designee will track elapsed time.
- Speakers are not allowed to transfer any portion of their 3 minutes to another speaker.
- Comments made by members of the public must be addressed to the Board as a whole and pertain to library matters.
- The Board is not obligated to answer questions or act in response to requests made by speakers during a public meeting. Public comment time is meant for public contributions, not for direct discussion with the Board.
- The President or their designee, shall be the only person interacting with the public comment period, unless otherwise determined by the President.
- Speakers are not required to be residents of the Town of East Greenbush to make comments at a public meeting.
- All visual and audio elements during public library meetings, as per the NYS Open Meetings Law, must be accessible to those attending remotely.
- Speakers are expected to show respect to the Board members, the Library Director, and fellow members of the public. Disruptive behavior may result in loss of comment time, expulsion from the meeting, or other actions necessary to restore order and safety. “Disruptive behavior” includes but is not limited to physical violence; insulting, harassing or abusive verbal behavior, loud or intrusive behavior that disrupts the meeting, removal or damage to library materials or property; or behavior intended to incite unrest.
- The Board President or their designee may prohibit a speaker from further commenting if they exceed the time limit or engage in disruptive commentary or behavior, as identified above.
- If not all speakers requesting time to speak have been recognized before the allotted Public Comment period ends, the Board President or their designee is authorized to take one of the following actions:
- Extend the Public Comment period to accommodate remaining speakers.
- Schedule a public hearing on the issue at a future date.
- Accommodate remaining speakers during the public comment segment at a future Board meeting.
- The library meeting minutes will include the names of any public speakers and a summary of comments.
Adopted by the Library Board of Trustees, October 17, 2023