February 22, 2017

Immediately following Rules Committee Meeting





Attendance:  Council Members Garrett Dennis (Chair), John Crescimbeni (Vice Chair), Greg Anderson, Danny Becton,  Jim Love, Tommy Hazouri, Scott Wilson; Council Member Reggie Brown was in attendance. Deputy General Counsel Peggy Sidman,  Assistant General Counsel Paige Johnston; Heather Reber, Council Auditor’s Office, Allison Korman Shelton, Administration, Jeff Clements, John J. Jackson, Council Research Division, Legislative Assistant Crystal Shemwell.


The Chair called the Special Meeting to order at 3:02 p.m.  He announced that the Special Meeting would review a draft ordinance prepared by Deputy General Counsel Peggy Sidman to amend the Council Rules regarding public comment, public hearings and public participation in meetings.


Assistant General Counsel Paige Johnston summarized the proposed Rules Committee ordinance.


The ordinance adds a new category of “public participation” to the existing public hearing and public comment provisions of the Council Rules to comply with a change in the Florida Statutes several years ago.


The new rules require that speakers during public comment must give their names and addresses audibly for the record as a condition of speaking. The Council can require the audible announcement because the public comment is not legislatively mandated and the Council can therefore apply time and manner conditions on public comment that it cannot apply to public hearings or public participation.


The new rules stipulate that public comments, hearings and participation at meetings shall be a maximum of three (3) minutes, but may be adjusted due to time constraints to allow everyone a fair opportunity to be heard.Vice President John Crescimbeni pointed out that the Council President can use her judgement and rule on amounts of time allotted to speakers during public comment depending on circumstances.


The Rules Committee must decide whether the draft legislation be introduced as a Rules Committee bill.  If it is introduced as a Rules Committee bill, the item will come back to the Rules Committee for discussion and debate. The committee voted 7-0 to authorize the General Counsel to introduce the bill under the committee’s sponsorship.


There being no further business, the Special Meeting was adjourned at 3:31 P.M.


John J. Jackson, Council Research Division (904) 630-1729



Posted: 3:00 P.M.