After more than 40 years, the Mad River Township Board of Trustees has elected to limit the public input at their regular meetings.
On Monday, August 5th trustee Kathy Estep (over 30 years as a trustee) read a list of rules pertaining to the public address at the meetings. In the past following the business portion of the meeting, trustees allowed the public to ask questions and bring concerns to the board.
Starting Monday, August 19 the following rules will be in place which will limit the time a person may speak and no one will be able to speak if they do not signup prior to the start of the meeting at 7:30 pm.
Trustees shared the list with those present at the meeting, however no public notice was posted as their web site has not been updated in several years.
Citizens will have a 3 minute time limit. All comments must be made to the President of the Board and must be made only from a podium. The President will recognize citizens in the order in which they have signed in.
Trustees will not ask questions or follow up with comments according to the statement read at the meeting.
Residents must sign in with their name and address. “Vulgar, offensive, threatening, or disparaging comments and personal attacks will not be permitted” according to the five rules listed in the “Rules for Public Comment” provided by the Board.
Some residents have questioned the fact that the trustees do not publish an agenda prior to their meetings making it difficult to know in advance if they might have questions. They suggest that it may be prudent to sign up prior to each meeting as a precaution should they have questions. No allowance has been made for a resident who may be unable to sign in by 7:30 due to other commitments and arrive late to the meeting.
The trustees did not announce if the room configuration would be changed to provide access for all in attendance as tables often prohibit easy movement in the room.
It was not clear in the statement as to how questions will be answered by the board if trustees will not be making any comments to the public.
These changes come after two members of the Board expressed dismay during recent meetings requesting that the President suspend the public address potion of the meeting.
Trustees also set a budget hearing for August 26, 2019 at 8:30 am.