Public hearings are a specific time during a meeting of the Board of Aldermen when citizens and other interested persons have the opportunity to be heard and to express their opinions on a particular matter. They are opened and closed by the Town Attorney.
Some public hearings are required by state statute before the Board may take any action. For example, the Board must hold a public hearing before it may adopt the annual budget, to allow interested citizens to provide their opinions on the proposed budget. Other public hearings are not required by statute, but the Waynesville Board of Aldermen has adopted the practice of calling for a public hearing before adopting any ordinance changes.
When required by law, a notice of public hearing will be published in a local newspaper.
Upcoming Public Hearings
Policy on Comments at Public Hearings
- Public Hearings scheduled for the Board meetings shall be conducted by the Town Attorney. Prior to opening any public hearing, the Town Attorney shall advise those in attendance of the rules to be followed.
- The Town Attorney shall first call upon the appellant or the designated representative either of which shall be allowed a combined maximum time of ten minutes to explain the request and provide whatever information they feel is needed for consideration by the Town Board.
- The Town Attorney may call upon Staff members to provide any information related to the matter at hand.
- The customary amount of time set aside for public comment during a public hearing shall be thirty minutes. The Town Attorney shall note that the public hearing is the time for speakers to express their opinions about the issue under discussion, not a time to ask questions of the Mayor and Town Board or staff members. The Town Attorney will recognize those wishing to speak on the particular issue, and the individuals who are recognized will come to the podium and give their name and address. They will then be allowed three minutes in which to present comments, and the Town Attorney will keep the time for that period. A person may only speak once during the period allotted for all comments on the issue.
- In an attempt to give balance to discussion on a particular issue, the Town Attorney shall alternate speakers between someone wishing to support a request and then someone who is opposed to the request.
- At the conclusion of the thirty minute period, the Town Attorney shall close the public hearing and turn the meeting back over to the Mayor.
- The Board may vote to allow additional comment beyond the thirty minute period, and it may allow a person to speak a second time during the period if time remains after all others have spoken.