Guidelines for Citizens' Address

The Holden Board of Selectmen would like to thank you for coming to your meeting tonight.  As a fellow citizen of our Town, your input and comments are valuable to others and us.
Citizens’ Address is an opportunity for people like you to address the Board of Selectmen in a public meeting that follows the rules of the Open Meeting Law.  Unless previously posted as such, our meeting begins promptly at 6:30 PM.
In the best interest of your time, Citizens’ Address is scheduled for 7:00 PM.  To be fair to all, we ask that you follow the followingguidelines:
1.  The presiding Chairman will ask if there is anyone in the room wishing to make comments to the Board of Selectmen at Citizens’ Address.  Please raise your hand.  When recognized by the presiding Chairman, proceed to the podium at the front of the room.  It is generally not necessary to adjust the microphone since the volunteer Cable Crew has previously positioned it.  If possible, try to ignore the microphone and speak at a volume level that can be easily heard by the presiding Chairman.
2.  Upon arrival at the podium and recognition by the Chairman, you will be asked to clearly state your name and street address.  It would also be helpful for you to state the purpose of your visit with us tonight.
3.  Traditionally, Citizens’ Address is not a dialogue.  Rather, it is your opportunity to be heard by the Board of Selectmen and town administration regarding issues of concern.  Please address your comments to the issues.  Do not expect for this to be an opportunity for a two way conversation.  Citizens’ Address is also not an opportunity to direct personal comments, positive or negative, toward individual board members or other town officials.
4.  If you would like to discuss an issue with the Board of Selectmen, you should contact either the Chairman or the Town Manager’s office.  If appropriate, your issue will be placed on the agenda for a subsequent meeting thereby affording you the opportunity for dialog with the Board.  Such advanced notice allows some research and preparation so that the Board will be more expeditiously able to address your concerns.
5.  Try to keep your remarks brief and to the point.  Since others may wish to speak on other issues and the meeting agenda could be lengthy, please try to keep your podium time to a 3-5 minute limit.
6.  Please remember, due to the necessity of efficiently running a meeting with a set agenda, it will be unusual for the Board of Selectmen to be able to address your concern immediately.  Rather, expect that the concern will be recorded and an effort will be made to address it in the near future.  However, it is possible that you will receive an immediate response to your concerns or comments.
Thank you again for taking the time to be involved in our democratic process.  Your continued interest in our Town can only serve to make it a better place to live for years to come.