East Spencer aldermen change public comment policy for board meetings

Published 12:05 am Sunday, June 9, 2024

EAST SPENCER — The East Spencer Board of Aldermen passed a change to the town’s ordinances on Monday that changes how the public comment period will be ran during the board’s meetings.

The change makes it so that any residents who wish to speak are required to sign up and state the intended topic of discussion before the meeting so that the town clerk has all names and relevant information. 

Residents who wish to submit comments in a written or electronic form now have to do so by the Friday before the meeting.

All speakers will now have a maximum of three minutes during the public comment period.

Town Manager Michael Douglas said during the meeting that the change came as a result of the board requesting for a formal policy to be put into place. He also noted that the town will not be able to perfectly implement the changes by the July meeting, saying that implementation could take up to six months.

Douglas also said that the town will be placing a page on the website with a full list of the rules, as well as including it in the town’s upcoming newsletter.

In other news from the monthly meeting:

  • The aldermen held a public hearing for citizens to provide input on how the $1.9 million Community Development Block Grant-Infrastructure was utilized by the town. The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, which distributes the grant, requires that any municipality receiving it hold a close-out hearing. During the hearing, Douglas stated that the funding, which the state requires to be used on lower- or moderate-income areas, was mainly used to improve the sewer system in the town over the past three years.
  • The board implemented a new policy that would require employees or officials to reimburse the town if they do not attend any conferences or other functions that the town paid for.
  • The board implemented a new policy that would require town employees to receive authorization from department heads to take a key to a town-owned facility or vehicle. Employees would also have to sign so that the administration knows where all keys are at all times.