THE WAY YOU SEE IT: SPEAKING AT OPEN FORUM
Updated: Aug 30, 2022
This blog post is part of my series, Civic Citizens Series on Communication. It aims to help Grey Highlands residents communicate better with our municipality.
This blog series, Civic Citizen Series: Communications has two parts.
Part One: Grey Highlands Speaks to you
Part Two: You Speak to your Municipality
Connect Grey Highlands (Staff)
This posts discusses Open Forum at a Council Meeting.
Open Forum is the opportunity on the Council agenda for public members to speak to an agenda item.
As soon as the Council agenda is public (this happens two days before the meeting), you can register to speak virtually to any item; however, in-person registration occurs no sooner than 15 minutes prior to the start of the meeting and ends at the meeting's scheduled start time. The virtual registration link is posted on the published Council agenda and ends one hour in advance of the meeting time.
You and up to five individuals can speak to any item for a maximum of 3 minutes each. As per the by-law, no time extensions shall be permitted.
Open Forums can be awkward because no motions, decisions or comments...
shall be made during the Open Forum portion of the meeting and must wait to consider and/or debate the information received during Open Forum during the deliberation of the item when it arises on the regular Council agenda.
Basically, Council can't talk about it until its turn on the agenda that day.
NOTE: When you register for Open Forum, you must specify the agenda item number that you are speaking to.
PRO TIP: If you know more than one person is speaking to an agenda item, organize ahead of time so that you use your time wisely.
Still Reading? Here are some lil' tidbits about open forum:
Any person requesting to voice their opinion on an item on the agenda after the agenda has been published, is able to register to speak at Open Forum immediately (2020-086) prior to the meeting.
You can speak in either in person or virtually.
No motions, decisions or comments are made during the Open Forum; however, Council will consider your comments when they debate the Agenda item.
You cannot speak more than once at any meeting.
DID YOU KNOW? Only the name of the speaker and the title of the item being spoken are included in the Council minutes.
DISCLAIMER The staff at The Municipality of Grey Highlands are experts in their respective fields. If something here is different than staff's advice, always follow staff's direction. And, then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with what I got wrong.
This is the last post in this series.