Guidelines for public comment periods

Due to the on-going 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

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

  1. Public comment periods on any topic will be conducted at the beginning of FVRL Board meetings. The comment period may be of limited duration at the discretion of the board chair.
  2. Individuals may speak for a maximum of three minutes. Time will be kept for each speaker.
  3. At the discretion of the board chair, there may be a comment period immediately prior to an agenda item, limited to comments on that item. Such specific comment periods will be announced at the beginning of the meeting.
  4. Those individuals intending to speak during the meeting must sign in on the forms provided prior to the public comment time during which they intend to speak. Speakers must write down their name, city of residence (or county if they reside in an unincorporated area), and the specific topic(s) they wish to address.
  5. At his/her discretion, the board chair may review the sign-in form(s) to determine the sequence of speakers. For this reason, sign-in may be on individual cards, limited to one speaker per card, to facilitate organization by the board chair.
  6. Generally, the board will listen to public comment and take any suggestions or concerns under advisement. If a board member thinks it appropriate, he/she may acknowledge the gist of the issue back to the speaker, and/or direct staff to follow up on the matter. It may be appropriate for a board member to ask a question of the speaker for clarification or answer a straightforward question (or ask staff to do so). The decision to respond to comment is at the discretion, and under the control of, the board chair. In such cases, the chair, at his/her discretion, 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.
  7. 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
  8. The FVRL board seeks to maintain a positive, productive atmosphere at meetings. Similar to the District's Rules of Conduct on library premises, board meeting attendees are expected to be considerate of others, respect the rights and privacy of others, be responsible for any minors in their charge, and to not engage in loud, disruptive, destructive or unsafe activities.