Speaker's Protocol

The Spring Hill Governing Body encourages citizen participation in the local governance process and wants to ensure that all interested parties have an opportunity to be heard at public meetings. To that end, the Governing Body has determined that procedures are needed to ensure fair and efficient meetings are conducted in an ethical, civil, and cordial matter. The purpose of the Public Comment period is to provide an opportunity for members of the public to provide information to the Governing Body; the Public Comment Period is not an open public forum, but rather a limited forum for citizens to provide information to the Governing Body. Members of the Governing Body should not engage in discussion or debate with speakers offering Public Comment.

Therefore, the Governing Body adopts the following procedures regarding the conduct of public meetings.

• Persons desiring to address the Governing Body, or board, commission, or committee, during the Public Comment Period shall place their name on the speaker’s list via telephone, e-mail, or by personally signing it prior to the public meeting. The speaker’s list(s) shall be maintained by the Office of the City Clerk or Board Secretary and shall be posted no less than one-half (1/2) hour prior to the meeting.

• Speakers will be called in the order they appear on the list for each topic. Persons unable to place their name on the speaker’s list may be allowed to address the Governing Body or Board after recognition by the meeting chairperson.

• Always speak from the lectern, using the microphone. This ensures that all remarks will be accurately recorded. Speakers are requested to state their full name, address, and group affiliation if related to their comments or if acting as a representative of an entity, organization, or group, if any, before delivering any remarks. Speakers should restate their name each time subsequent remarks are made. If unable to speak from the lectern, accommodations can be provided. A speaker granted a current Protection from Abuse or Protection from Stalking Order shall not have to state his or her address.

• Persons wishing to address the Governing Body or Board for general issues or concerns during Citizen Participation on items not under consideration within the agenda shall be limited to a maximum of five (5) minutes, provided an extension of time may be granted, by formal motion. If a large number of people seek to make comments, the Governing Body or other Board may limit the time to three (3) minutes per speaker to ensure that all those who wish to speak are provided an opportunity. Speakers may not give, donate, or yield their time to speak to extend another person’s time. Comments during Citizen Participation are to be Speaker’s Protocol directed to the Chair. Staff will respond to specific issues if so directed by the Mayor. 

• Speakers are expected to conduct themselves in a civil manner. The following topics and types of comments are prohibited: 

  • Political campaigning; 
  • Commercial advertisement or hawking; 
  • Personal attacks, threats, or slanderous remarks that are unrelated to official conduct or qualifications; 
  • Profanity;
  • Disclosure of identifying, locating, or sharing of private information whether concerning elected or appointed officials, City employees, or members of the public. 

• To protect privacy interests of all parties involved, the Governing Body shall not hear personal complaints concerning an employee during Public Comment on any matter related to his or her employment with the City. Individual personnel matters should be referred to City administration who may report to the Governing Body in executive session, as appropriate. Policy matters regarding employment shall be addressed in open session. 

• If a number of persons are aligned on an agenda topic, they may select one (1) spokesperson for an applicant, party request or proposing the item, or on behalf of an agenda topic and one (1) spokesperson for the opposition who shall be allotted ten (10) minutes. Other speakers, including unaligned or otherwise unrepresented persons, may speak for up to five (5) minutes each as determined by the Governing Body or Board depending upon the number of speakers. 

• The Governing Body and City Boards conduct public hearings from time to time as required by law or as part of consideration of certain matters prior to passage, adoption, or approval of an item. Persons who wish to address the Governing Body or a Board during a Public Hearing are not required to sign up or to provide advance notice of the intent to appear and comment on the subject of the Public Hearing. 

• Persons wishing to address the Governing Body in a public hearing may make comments for five (5) minutes; provided that, a spokesperson for an applicant or group of applicants or petitioners may speak for up to ten (10) minutes, and a spokesperson for an aligned group in opposition to the application or petition under consideration, if so designated, shall also be permitted to speak for up to ten (10) minutes. Speakers may not otherwise give, donate, or yield their time to speak to extend another person’s time. 

• If you have documentation or other materials to present to the Governing Body or Board, please provide them to the City Clerk or Board Secretary for distribution Speaker’s Protocol and filing with the official record of the meeting. If possible, a total of eight (8) copies of any document should be provided. The City of Spring Hill does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, genetic information, membership or service in the military, or other characteristics prohibited by federal, state, or local law, rule, or regulation, including Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The City will provide reasonable accommodation to individual’s possessing a disability upon request. A request for reasonable accommodation for disability, or other assistance, should be made, if possible, at least three (3) days in advance, to the Office of the City Clerk at (913) 592-3664 or cityclerk@springhillks.gov. 

The Governing Body welcomes your participation and appreciates your cooperation. Meeting agendas and minutes are available via the City website at www.springhillks.gov or by contacting the Office of the City Clerk. Meetings are also available for viewing via live streaming on YouTube. Additional details are available on the City of Spring Hill website.