MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — In response to requirements established in Chapter 300 of the Tennessee Public Acts of 2023, the Murfreesboro City Council has adopted a new policy for “Public Comment” at all Public Meetings. The new policy became effective on July 1, 2023.
Under the City policy, the first fifteen (15) minutes of all public meetings will be designated for public comment on “actionable” agenda items. Citizens wishing to speak at public meetings must sign up at least six hours prior to the meeting start time. Individuals wishing to speak at a public meeting should complete and submit an online “Sign Up Form” to make public comments about an actionable item on the agenda. Those wanting to speak will also need to notate which meeting they intend to be present for. The Public Comment Sign Up Form is available in the Form Center on the City website at https://www.murfreesborotn.gov/PublicCommentForm.
Citizens can also send an email to publicly comment at email@example.com. They can also call the City Hall at (615) 849-2629.
Again, individuals registering should state which meeting and the “action” item about which they wish to speak and whether they will be in support or in opposition to the item.
City Council approved Resolution 23-R-23 at its regular meeting June 15, 2023, establishing the policy governing public comment at all public meetings. The new policy does not apply to the long-standing “public comment” period of City Council, generally held at 5:30 p.m. prior to the 6:00 p.m. regular Council meetings on the first Thursday of the month.
The new Public Comment period for all public meetings provides the public an opportunity to comment on matters that appear on the Council Meeting’s agenda. The policy, consistent with State Statute, adopts reasonable restrictions:
- on the time set for comments,
- how requests to comment are to be made [signup],
- the number of speakers,
- and the time permitted each speaker.
- that opposing viewpoints are fairly represented.
The new Public Comment policy applies to all public meetings of the City Council and to public meetings of the City’s other commissions, boards, and committees that are comprised of elected and/or appointed officials with “actionable” items on the agenda.
The presiding officer shall have the discretion to extend the public comment period for no more than an additional fifteen (15) minutes if additional time is reasonably necessary to ensure that opposing viewpoints are fairly represented during the public comment period.
City Council and some of the City’s committee, commission and board meetings can be viewed live on Murfreesboro CityTV available on Comcast Xfinity Channels 3 and 1094, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Mobile devices via the App store, and the City Website www.murfreesborotn.gov/citytv.