Section: community title: public participation in joint operating committee meetings

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No. 903


ADOPTED: March 11, 2003


1. Purpose

65 P.S. 701 et seq

The Joint Operating Committee recognizes the value to school governance of public comment on educational issues and the importance of involving members of the public in Joint Operating Committee meetings.

2. Authority

The Joint Operating Committee has established guidelines to govern public participation in Joint Operating Committee meetings necessary to conduct its meeting and to maintain order.

65 P.S. 710.1(A)

In order to permit fair and orderly expression of public comment, the Joint Operating Committee provides an opportunity at each open meeting of the Joint Operating Committee for residents and taxpayers of participating districts to comment on matters of concern, official action or deliberation before the Joint Operating Committee prior to official action by the Joint Operating Committee.

The Joint Operating Committee requires that public comments be made prior to each official action of the Joint Operating Committee.

If the Joint Operating Committee determines there is not sufficient time at a meeting for public comments, the comment period may be deferred to the next regular meeting or to a special meeting occurring before the next regular meeting.

3. Delegation of Responsibility

Pol. 006

The Chairperson shall follow Joint Operating Committee policy for the conduct of public meetings. Where the Chairperson's ruling is disputed, it may be overruled by a majority of those Joint Operating Committee members present and voting.

4. Guidelines

Whenever issues identified by the public participants are subject to remediation under policies and procedures of the Joint Operating Committee, they shall be dealt with in accordance with those policies and procedures.

The Joint Operating Committee requires that public participants be residents or taxpayers of participating school districts.

All members of the public wishing to participate in a public Joint Operating Committee meeting shall register their intent with the Joint Operating Committee Secretary in advance of the meeting and shall include the name and address of the participant, topic to be addressed and group affiliation, if applicable.

Public participants must be recognized by the chairperson and must preface their comments by an announcement of their name, address, and group affiliation if applicable.

All statements shall be directed to the chairperson; no public participant may address or question Joint Operating Committee members individually.

The chairperson may:

  1. Interrupt or terminate a public participant's statement when the statement is too lengthy, personally directed, abusive, obscene, or irrelevant or set a time limit for individual comment at the beginning of the meeting.

  1. Request any public participant to leave the meeting when that person does not observe reasonable decorum.

  1. Request the assistance of law enforcement officers to remove a disorderly person when his/her conduct interferes with the orderly progress of the meeting.

  1. Call a recess or adjournment to another time when the lack of public decorum interferes with the orderly conduct of the meeting.

Electronic recording devices and cameras, other than those used as official recording devices, shall be permitted at public meetings under guidelines established by the Joint Operating Committee.

The meeting agenda and all pertinent documents shall be distributed to the press and public at the meetings.

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