Guidelines for public comment periods

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, all Fort Vancouver Regional Library District Board of Trustee meetings will be held virtually per Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 20-28. Due to the challenges inherent in an online environment, public comments can be made by email to trustees@fvrl.org.

The Fort Vancouver Regional Library District Board of Trustees welcomes visitors to its public meetings. To ensure that public comment periods are efficient and productive, the following guidelines have been established:

  1. FVRL seeks to maintain a positive, productive atmosphere at board meetings. FVRL’s Rules of Conduct apply to everyone on library premises. Speakers are expected to be considerate of others, respect the rights and privacy of others, and not engage in loud, disruptive, destructive, or harassing speech.
  2. A public comment period will be offered during in-person FVRL board meetings.
  3. The comment period may be of limited duration and timing at the discretion of the board chair.
  4. Speakers must submit a Public Comment Form with their name, city of residence (or county if they reside in an unincorporated area), and the specific topic(s) they wish to address prior to the start of the meeting.
  5. Individuals may speak for a maximum of three minutes. Time will be kept for each speaker.
  6. The board chair may review the sign-in form(s) to determine the sequence of speakers at their discretion. Sign-in forms are limited to one per speaker to facilitate organization by the board chair.
  7. If there are more speakers than time allows, individuals will be called in order of receipt, and local residents will be prioritized over those from outside of FVRL’s service area.
  8. The decision to respond to comment is at the discretion and under the control of the board chair. In such cases, the chair may allot the speaker a limited additional speaking period to respond to the board. It is not the intent of the board to engage in debate or solve complex issues during a public comment period.
  9. Generally, the board will listen to public comments and take any suggestions or concerns under advisement.
  10. The board also will accept written comments in addition to or in lieu of spoken comments at a board meeting. Written comments may be given to the board at its monthly public meeting, mailed to the board c/o the FVRL Executive Director, or emailed to trustees@fvrl.org prior to 1 pm on the day of the meeting.
  11. Letters and emails received will be retained as public records, and the names will be recorded in the minutes as having provided comments. The length should equate to three minutes of reading time. Emails to the board that contain links to external sources (such as articles, websites, photos or videos) or are a forward of others’ remarks will not be accepted as public comments.

Revised 6/14/2021

Guidelines for public comment periods - printable PDF